Supervising Scientist services - Commercial services

The Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978, Section 24B, permits the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (ERISS) to undertake, on a commercial basis, research on environmental matters for other persons. ERISS may undertake research in so far as it is appropriate for the research to be performed by ERISS on behalf of the Australian Government. ERISS will not undertake commercial work where there is a perceived or actual conflict with its statutory role.

Our professional staff have highly developed skills and recognised expertise. This diverse range of skills offers enables us to provide a comprehensive environmental consulting service with a depth of expertise and breadth of experience equal to almost any challenge. In addition, we have broad experience in working with Indigenous Australians, including helping them address environmental issues and concerns associated with activities on their traditional lands.

The amount of commercial research that ERISS can undertake is limited, as the bulk of resources are allocated to meeting its obligations under the Act. Generally, preference will be given to those commercial research projects that focus on maintaining or enhancing ERISS’s expertise in the fields of monitoring and researching the impact of uranium mining activities to protect human and ecosystem health, research on tropical river systems and the ecology and conservation of tropical wetlands, however, projects in related fields may be undertaken. The final decision on whether to undertake a project will be based on an assessment of current obligations, available resources, capacity and expertise.

Environmental chemistry

  • interpretation and analysis
  • chemical environmental monitoring
  • chemical water quality standard development in compliance with the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality
  • site characterisation
  • acid rock drainage assessment

Environmental radioactivity and low level radiochemistry

  • Ultra low level alpha spectrometry for isotopes of U, Th, Ra, Pb and Po
  • low level gamma spectrometry
  • environmental radionuclide transport
  • sedimentation and dating studies
  • radionuclides as tracers for erosion
  • environmental radiation surveys and assessments
  • radon and radon progeny measurement


Freshwater and wetland ecology and monitoring

  • development of biological, chemical and physical monitoring techniques and holistic monitoring regimes
  • vulnerability assessments and development of management plans for wetlands
  • training in wetlands conservation and management
  • interpretation and application of the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality
  • freshwater ecology impact assessment
  • wetland inventory assessment

Erosion and hydrology

  • Three-dimensional hydrology, landform evolution and erosion modelling
  • catchment impact disturbance assessment
  • characterisation and prediction of sediment transport

Remote sensing and GIS

  • remote sensing (satellite and aircraft) data manipulation and rectification
  • hyperspectral data processing and interpretation (eg enabling identification of specific minerals, location of acid mine drainage, revegetation assessments and wetland mapping)
  • airborne radiometric survey interpretation
  • spatial analysis and modelling

Environmental risk assessment

  • specific quantitative and qualitative environmental risk assessments integrating all areas of SS expertise
  • development of environmental risk management frameworks and operational risk assessment tools

Health physics and radiation protection

  • radiation dose assessment
  • radiation risk assessment

Environmental assessment and auditing

  • environmental audits complying with requirements of the ISO14000 series of standards by certified auditors
  • contaminated site assessment
  • environmental site assessment

Environmental training

  • Supervising Scientist staff have participated in the development and delivery of training programs on radioactive waste management and wetlands management for a range of clients.
  • Training course development and delivery has been undertaken on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and South East Asia and in collaboration with a range of national tertiary institutions and other international organisations.

Key consulting staff

Key consulting staff
Name Area of Expertise
Andreas Bollhöfer Environmental radioactivity and radionuclide transport, ultra-low level radiochemistry, alpha and gamma spectrometry, radionuclide bioaccumulation, airborne gamma spectrometry
Renée Bartolo Tropical wetland management, ecological risk assessment, quantitative remote sensing, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) image analysis
Chris Humphrey Aquatic ecology and biological monitoring, aquatic ecosystem protection management and impact assessment, author for the revision of the new ANZECC Water Quality Guidelines.
Wayne Erskine Landform evolution modelling, hydrology erosion and sediment transport modelling, catchment impact assessment
John Lowry GIS specialist, geomorphology, hydrology, ecology, landform modelling
Richard McAllister Hydrology, environmental management and impact assessment, environmental monitoring and planning, site remediation, environmental auditing, water management
Kirrilly Pfitzner Remote sensing specialist, environmental radiation, wetlands ecology, revegetation
Keith Tayler Lead environmental compliance auditor, environmental assessment of proposals, environmental regulation and governance.
Rick van Dam Aquatic ecotoxicology, ecological risk assessment, water quality protection and management, author for the revision of the new ANZECC Water Quality Guidelines

Contact information

Ian Furner, Business Manager
Supervising Scientist
Department of the Environment

GPO Box 461, Darwin NT 0801, AUSTRALIA
Tel +61 (0)8 89201100
Fax +61 (0)8 8920 1199