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Dr Luke Mosley

Luke Mosley
Senior Research Fellow
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Sciences

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External Profiles

Dr Luke Mosley

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD — email supervisor to discuss availability.

Biogeochemistry Research Group

The overarching aim of the biogeochemistry research group I lead is to understand and help solve complex environmental issues across multi-disciplinary boundaries (soil, water, ecology, human impacts). Research carried out by the group has increased understanding of processes affecting the generation and fate of chemical species and contaminants (e.g. metals, nutrients and organic matter), and how to manage systems to prevent undesirable impacts. Much of our current research is directed to understanding the effects of climate change arising from increasing droughts, reduced river flows, increasing carbon dioxide levels, and sea level rise. We are also focussed on developing novel measurement techniques and geochemical models to assist in this area. The group’s research is conducted and linked at various scales; from molecular-level studies in the laboratory, to field-scale experiments, and national-global scale assessments.

Our group has strong collaborations with scientists and agencies in Australia and internationally. We have a proven and extensive track record in delivering complex research advice and outputs to government agencies to assist them to manage environmental issues. Importantly these projects also provide students the opportunity to research and solve "real world" issues, and gain valuable contacts and skills to enhance their future employment prospects. The group is located at the Waite Campus in Adelaide, a stimulating and highly collaborative environment. We make a significant contribution to the University of Adelaide achieving a 2015 Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) Rating of 5 ("well above world standard") in our key areas of geochemistry, soil science, and environmental science and management.

I am Deputy Director of the Acid Sulfate Soils Centrehold a visiting Scientist position with CSIRO Land and Water, and am Vice President of Soil Science Australia (, the peak body representing soil scientists in Australia.

Better living by biogeochemistry!

Current research areas

  • Biogeochemical processes in water and soil
  • Acid sulfate soils – geochemistry and management
  • Impacts of drought and climate change on water and soils – increased CO2, drought, sea level rise
  • River Murray, Lower Lakes and Coorong catchment and water biogeochemistry
  • Modelling of the hydro-geochemistry of soil and water
  • The influence of organic matter availability on biogeochemical processes and generation of hypoxic blackwater
  • Development of novel methods and instrumentation for measurement of pH in soils
  • Remediation of hypersaline and sulfidic systems

Please feel free to contact me directly for a discussion about research collaboration, postgraduate student or consulting opportunities.


Date Position Institution name
2015 Senior Research Fellow University of Adelaide
2004 - 2014 Principal Scientific Officer (Water Quality) Environment Protection Authority (EPA)

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
2015 Award Best Paper Award - Australian Water Association
2011 Award Premiers Award


Date Institution name Country Title
University of Otago New Zealand PhD

Research Interests


Year Citation
2018 Dang, T., Marschner, P., Fitzpatrick, R., & Mosley, L. (2018). Assessment of the binding of protons, Al and Fe to biochar at different pH values and soluble metal concentrations. Water (Switzerland), 10(1), 1-9.
2018 Auricht, H., Clarke, K., Lewis, M., & Mosley, L. (2018). Have droughts and increased water extraction from the Murray River (Australia) reduced coastal ocean productivity. Marine and Freshwater Research, 69(3), 343-356.
2018 Bargrizan, S., Smernik, R., Fitzpatrick, R., & Mosley, L. (2018). The application of a spectrophotometric method to determine pH in acidic (pH<5) soils. Talanta, 186, 421-426.
2017 Mosley, L., Biswas, T., Cook, F., Marschner, P., Palmer, D., Shand, P., . . . Fitzpatrick, R. (2017). Prolonged recovery of acid sulfate soils with sulfuric materials following severe drought: causes and implications. Geoderma, 308, 312-320.
DOI Scopus4 WoS1
2017 Mosley, L., Cook, F., & Fitzpatrick, R. (2017). Field trial and modelling of different strategies for remediation of soil salinity and sodicity in the Lower Murray irrigation areas. Soil Research, 55(7), 670-681.
2017 Kölbl, A., Marschner, P., Fitzpatrick, R., Mosley, L., & Kögel-Knabner, I. (2017). Linking organic matter composition in acid sulfate soils to pH recovery after re-submerging. Geoderma, 308, 350-362.
DOI Scopus1
2017 Fitzpatrick, R., Mosley, L., Raven, M., & Shand, P. (2017). Schwertmannite formation and properties in acidic drain environments following exposure and oxidation of acid sulfate soils in irrigation areas during extreme drought. Geoderma, 308, 235-251.
DOI Scopus5 WoS2
2017 Fitzpatrick, R., Shand, P., & Mosley, L. (2017). Acid sulfate soil evolution models and pedogenic pathways during drought and reflooding cycles in irrigated areas and adjacent natural wetlands. Geoderma, 308, 270-290.
DOI Scopus6 WoS1
2017 Bargrizan, S., Smernik, R., & Mosley, L. (2017). Development of a spectrophotometric method for determining pH of soil extracts and comparison with glass electrode measurements. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 81(6), 1350-1358.
DOI Scopus1
2016 Reid, R., & Mosley, L. (2016). Comparative contributions of solution geochemistry, microbial metabolism and aquatic photosynthesis to the development of high pH in ephemeral wetlands in South East Australia. Science of the Total Environment, 542(Pt A), 334-343.
DOI Scopus6 WoS5 Europe PMC2
2016 Jayalath, N., Mosley, L., Fitzpatrick, R., & Marschner, P. (2016). Addition of clayey soils with high net negative acidity to sulfuric sandy soil can minimise pH changes during wet and dry periods. Geoderma, 269, 153-159.
2016 Dang, T., Mosley, L., Fitzpatrick, R., & Marschner, P. (2016). Addition of organic material to sulfuric soil can reduce leaching of protons, iron and aluminium. Geoderma, 271, 63-70.
DOI Scopus4 WoS4
2016 Leyden, E., Cook, F., Hamilton, B., Zammit, B., Barnett, L., Lush, A., . . . Mosley, L. (2016). Near shore groundwater acidification during and after a hydrological drought in the Lower Lakes, South Australia. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 189, 44-57.
DOI Scopus4
2016 Yuan, C., Mosley, L., Fitzpatrick, R., & Marschner, P. (2016). Organic matter addition can prevent acidification during oxidation of sandy hypersulfidic and hyposulfidic material: Effect of application form, rate and C/N ratio. Geoderma, 276, 26-32.
DOI Scopus2 WoS2
2016 Dang, T., Mosley, L., Fitzpatrick, R., & Marschner, P. (2016). Organic materials retain high proportion of protons, iron and aluminium from acid sulphate soil drainage water with little subsequent release. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23(23), 23582-23592.
DOI Scopus2 WoS2 Europe PMC1
2016 Jayalath, N., Fitzpatrick, R., Mosley, L., & Marschner, P. (2016). Type of organic carbon amendment influences pH changes in acid sulfate soils in flooded and dry conditions. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 16(2), 518-526.
DOI Scopus5 WoS3
2016 Jayalath, N., Mosley, L., Fitzpatrick, R., & Marschner, P. (2016). Addition of organic matter influences pH changes in reduced and oxidised acid sulfate soils. Geoderma, 262, 125-132.
DOI Scopus9 WoS8
2015 Mosley, L. M., Daly, R., Palmer, D., Yeates, P., Dallimore, C., Biswas, T., & Simpson, S. L. (2015). Predictive modelling of pH and dissolved metal concentrations and speciation following mixing of acid drainage with river water. Applied Geochemistry, 59, 1-10.
DOI Scopus8
2015 Dang, T., Mosley, L., Fitzpatrick, R., & Marschner, P. (2015). Organic materials differ in ability to remove protons, iron and aluminium from acid sulfate soil drainage water. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 226(11), 357-1-357-13.
DOI Scopus2 WoS1
2015 Mosley, L., Willson, P., Hamilton, B., Butler, G., & Seaman, R. (2015). The capacity of biochar made from common reeds to neutralise pH and remove dissolved metals in acid drainage. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 22(19), 15113-15122.
DOI Scopus10 Europe PMC3
2015 Yuan, C., Fitzpatrick, R., Mosley, L., & Marschner, P. (2015). Sulfate reduction in sulfuric material after re-flooding: effectiveness of organic carbon addition and pH increase depends on soil properties. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 298, 138-145.
DOI Scopus12 WoS11 Europe PMC2
2015 Mosley, L. (2015). Drought impacts on the water quality of freshwater systems; review and integration. Earth-Science Reviews, 140, 203-214.
DOI Scopus41
2015 Yuan, C., Mosley, L., Fitzpatrick, R., & Marschner, P. (2015). Amount of organic matter required to induce sulfate reduction in sulfuric material after re-flooding is affected by soil nitrate concentration. Journal of Environmental Management, 151, 437-442.
DOI Scopus9 WoS9 Europe PMC2
2014 Mosley, L., Palmer, D., Leyden, E., Cook, F., Zammit, B., Shand, P., . . . Fitzpatrick, R. (2014). Acidification of floodplains due to river level decline during drought. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 161, 10-23.
DOI Scopus24 WoS22 Europe PMC2
2014 Mosley, L., Fitzpatrick, R., Palmer, D., Leyden, E., & Shand, P. (2014). Changes in acidity and metal geochemistry in soils, groundwater, drain and river water in the Lower Murray River after a severe drought. Science of the Total Environment, 485-486(1), 281-291.
DOI Scopus30 WoS29 Europe PMC7
2014 Mosley, L., Zammit, B., Jolley, A., Barnett, L., & Fitzpatrick, R. (2014). Monitoring and assessment of surface water acidification following rewetting of oxidised acid sulfate soils. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 186(1), 1-18.
DOI Scopus13 WoS9 Europe PMC2
2014 Mosley, L., Shand, P., Self, P., & Fitzpatrick, R. (2014). The geochemistry during management of lake acidification caused by the rewetting of sulfuric (pH<4) acid sulfate soils. Applied Geochemistry, 41, 49-61.
DOI Scopus18 WoS16
2014 Mosley, L. M., Zammit, B., Jolley, A. M., & Barnett, L. (2014). Acidification of lake water due to drought. Journal of Hydrology, 511, 484-493.
2014 Simpson, S. L., Vardanega, C. R., Jarolimek, C., Jolley, D. F., Angel, B. M., & Mosley, L. M. (2014). Metal speciation and potential bioavailability changes during discharge and neutralisation of acidic drainage water. Chemosphere, 103, 172-180.
2014 Hipsey, M. R., Salmon, S. U., & Mosley, L. M. (2014). A three-dimensional hydro-geochemical model to assess lake acidification risk. Environmental Modelling and Software, 61, 433-457.
2013 Whitworth, K., Kerr, J., Mosley, L., Conallin, J., Hardwick, L., & Baldwin, D. (2013). Options for managing hypoxic blackwater in river systems: case studies and framework. Environmental Management, 52(4), 837-850.
2012 Mosley, L., Zammit, B., Leyden, E., Heneker, T., Hipsey, M., Skinner, D., & Aldridge, K. (2012). The impact of extreme low flows on the water quality of the lower Murray River and lakes (South Australia). Water Resources Management, 26(13), 3923-3946.
DOI Scopus42 WoS36
2010 Mosley, L., Peake, B., & Hunter, K. (2010). Modelling of pH and inorganic carbon speciation in estuaries using the composition of the river and seawater end members. Environmental Modelling and Software, 25(12), 1658-1663.
DOI Scopus9
2010 Simpson, S., Fitzpatrick, R., Shand, P., Angel, B., Spadaro, D., & Mosley, L. (2010). Climate-driven mobilisation of acid and metals from acid sulfate soils. Marine and Freshwater Research, 61(1), 129-138.
DOI Scopus32 WoS28
2010 Mosley, L. M., & Fleming, N. (2010). Pollutant Loads Returned to the Lower Murray River from Flood-Irrigated Agriculture. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 211(1-4), 475-487.
2009 Mosley, L. M., & Fleming, N. (2009). Reductions in water use following rehabilitation of a flood-irrigated area on the Murray River in South Australia. Agricultural Water Management, 96(11), 1679-1682.
2004 Peake, B., & Mosley, L. (2004). Hydrogen peroxide concentrations in relation to optical properties in a fiord (Doubtful Sound, New Zealand). New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 38(4), 729-741.
DOI Scopus5
2004 Mosley, L., Husheer, S., & Hunter, K. (2004). Spectrophotometric pH measurement in estuaries using thymol blue and m-cresol purple. Marine Chemistry, 91(1-4), 175-186.
DOI Scopus33
2004 Mosley, L., Singh, S., & Sharp, D. (2004). Effects of a tropical cyclone on the drinking-water quality of a remote Pacific Island. Disasters, 28(4), 405-417.
DOI Scopus13 Europe PMC5
2004 Sander, S., Mosley, L., & Hunter, K. (2004). Investigation of interparticle forces in natural waters: Effects of adsorbed humic acids on iron oxide and alumina surface properties. Environmental Science and Technology, 38(18), 4791-4796.
DOI Scopus45 Europe PMC4
2003 Mosley, L., Hunter, K., & Ducker, W. (2003). Forces between colloid particles in natural waters. Environmental Science and Technology, 37(15), 3303-3308.
DOI Scopus94 Europe PMC14
2003 Mosley, L., & Aalbersberg, W. (2003). Nutrient levels in sea and river water along the coral coast of Viti Levu, Fiji. South Pacific Journal of Science, 21, 35-40.
2003 Mosley, L., & Singh, S. (2003). Trace metals in drinking water from Viti Levu, Fiji Islands. South Pacific Journal of Science, 21, 31-34.
2001 Mosley, L., & Peake, B. (2001). Partitioning of metals (Fe, Pb, Cu, Zn) in urban run-off from the Kaikorai valley, Dunedin, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 35(3), 615-624.
DOI Scopus29

Conference Papers

Year Citation
2015 Frizenschaf, J., Mosley, L., Daly, R., & Kotz, S. (2015). Securing drinking water supply during extreme drought- learnings from South Australia. In Drought: Research and Science-Policy Interfacing - Proceedings of the International Conference on Drought: Research and Science-Policy Interfacing (pp. 391-397).
2014 Fitzpatrick, R. W., Raven, M., Self, P., Shand, P., Grealish, G., & Mosley, L. (2014). Irreversible clay mineral transformations from bushfires in acid sulphate soils: An indicator of soil processes involved in climate variability and climate change. In Proceedings of the Australian Clay Minerals Society Conference (pp. 47-50). Perth: Australian Clay Minerals Society.
2002 Mosley, L., Peake, B., Collett, S., Labadie, P., Kieber, R., & Willey, J. (2002). UV radiation and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in aquatic environments. In Royal Society of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series 60, 124 pp (pp. 1-3). Christchurch, New Zealand.

Conference Items

Year Citation
2014 Yuan, C., Marschner, P., Fitzpatrick, R. W., & Mosley, L. (2014). Organic carbon availability and low pH may limit sulfate reduction in oxidized acid sulfate soils (ASS) after re-saturation. Poster session presented at the meeting of Proceedings of the 4th National Acid Sulfate Soil Conference. Australia: Southern Cross University.
2014 Fitzpatrick, R. W., Shand, P., Raven, M., Self, P., Grealish, G., & Mosley, L. (2014). Morphological and mineral transformation processes from bushfires in acid sulfate soils. Poster session presented at the meeting of Proceedings of the 4th National Acid Sulfate Conference. Australia: Southern Cross University.

Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
2018 Co-Supervisor The Effects of Drought on pH and Metal Speciation in Periodically Flooded and Dried Soils Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Austin Myles Trueman
2017 Co-Supervisor Phosphorus and Iron in Acid Sulfate Soils Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sonia Samanthi Mayakaduwage
2017 Co-Supervisor Remote Sensing to Investigate the Response of Coastal Ocean Environments to Reduced River Outflows Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Hannah Caitlin Claire Auricht
2017 Principal Supervisor The Effect of Sea Level Rise on the Geochemistry of Coastal Soils and Shallow Groundwater Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Emily Ruth Leyden
2015 Principal Supervisor The role of pH in determining organic metal complexation in acid sulfate soils Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sima Bargrizan
2015 Co-Supervisor Nutrient Cycling in Sandy Soils Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Thi Huong Xuan Le

Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
2015 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Effect of organic matter and sulfidic clay addition on pH and redox potential of inland acid sulfate soils Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Nilmini Jayalath
2014 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Capacity of Organic Materials to retain Metals and Protons Released from Sulfuric Acid Sulfate Soils Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Tan Thanh Dang
2014 - 2015 External Supervisor REMEDIATION OF ACID SULFATE SOILS BY ORGANIC MATTER ADDITION Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Chaolei Yuan

Committee Memberships

Date Role Committee Institution Country
2011 - ongoing Advisory Board Member Coorong Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Scientific Advisory Committee Department for Environment and Water Australia


Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
2017 - ongoing Certified Professional Soil Scientist Soil Science Australia Business and professional Australia

Industry Partnerships

Date Engagement Type Partner Name
2014 - ongoing Consultant Recently I have undertaken consultancies for the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) South Australia, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, CSIRO, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR).

Offices Held

Date Office Name Institution Country
2017 - ongoing Vice President, Soil Science Australia Soil Science Australia Australia
Senior Research Fellow
John Davies Building, floor 1
Room Number
1 05
Org Unit
Ecology and Environmental Science