Dr Grant Dawson

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of the Environment
Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 52130


Grant has degrees in both Chemistry and Earth Sciences and is presently focused on assessing the environmental impact of fluid-rock interactions on groundwater chemistry. This entails a variety of rock characterisation techniques (elemental, mineralogical, petrophysical), benchtop sequential extraction experiments, and pressure vessel experiments that mimic in-situ conditions deep underground, with data then fed into geochemical modelling software. The analytical equipment that Grant has operated to achieve his research outcomes includes ICP-MS, ICP-OES, SEM-EDS, Microprobe, XRF, Synchrotron XFM beamline, Petrographic Microscopes (both scanning and standard), Gas Permeameter, Helium Pycnometer, Pressure Vessels, etc. Grant also has an active interest in the geological storage of carbon dioxide, both via injection into deep geological formations and direct atmospheric capture facilitated by rock weathering to form stable carbonate rocks (mineral trapping of CO2). In the past, Grant has studied natural carbonate mineralisation (both veins and cement) throughout the Great Artesian Basin, to explore the variety of natural conditions that promote the transformation of CO2 into minerals. Early in his research career, Grant participated in paleo-climate research projects that involved botanically describing and assessing the cell morphology of fossil woods, coal petrography, studying coral cores, and picking foraminifera recovered from the sea floor.

Research Interests

  • Environmental Geochemistry
    Specifically, assessing how the interaction of rocks and fluids can affect groundwater chemistry.
  • Analytical Chemistry
    Specifically, the use of various instruments to determine the amounts and distribution of elements within both solid and fluid samples.
  • Experimental Geochemistry
    Both benchtop and high-pressure experiments.
  • Isotope Geochemistry
    The use of both stable and radiogenic isotopes to characterise or date mineralisation.
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy
    A high resolution imaging technique which, if coupled with Energy Dispersive Spectrometry, can also give semi-quantitative element composition information for a sample surface.
  • CO2 Sequestration
    The long-term geological storage of carbon dioxide emissions to mitigate anthropogenic climate change.
  • Coal Geology & Petrology
    The study of coal and related geology. Coal is useful for palaeo-climatology and palaeo-botany/ecology studies and can contain structural and related mineralogical information for basin analysis.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Science (Advanced), The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland


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Book Chapter

  • Pearce, Julie K. and Dawson, Grant K. W. (2019). Gas-water-mineral reactivity in caprocks: measurements, estimates, and observations. Geological carbon storage: subsurface seals and caprock integrity. (pp. 147-165) edited by Stéphanie Vialle, Jonathan Ajo‐Franklin and J. William Carey. Washington, DC, United States: American Geophysical Union.

  • Pearce, Julie K. and Dawson, Grant K. W. (2018). Gas‐water‐mineral reactivity in caprocks. Geological Carbon Storage: Subsurface Seals and Caprock Integrity. (pp. 147-165) edited by Stephanie Vialle, Jonathan Ajo-Franklin and J. William Carey. Hoboken, NJ, United States: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781119118657.ch7

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)