Graeme Batley

By September 16th, 2014


Graeme Batley was born 7 January 1941, at Young, New South Wales. His Primary education was at Lane Cove Public School and his secondary education at North Sydney Boys High School. His father was the Metropolitan Sales Manager for Shell Australia.

He obtained a BSc (Hons 1) degree in 1962, an MSc in 1964, a PhD in 1967 in analytical and inorganic chemistry, and a DSc in 1994, all from the University of New South Wales. On reflecting on his time as a student Graeme recalled:

I was influenced by Gordon Aylward a lecturer at the University who had a unique teaching style and was responsible for stimulating my interest in analytical chemistry research which ultimately led to a career in environmental analytical chemistry and a specialised interest in all aspects of the fate and impacts of contaminants in the aquatic environment.

Graeme Batley joined the Australian Atomic Energy Commission in 1969 as a research scientist after a two-year post doctoral appointment at the University of Illinois.

In 1981, he was transferred to CSIRO Division of Energy Chemistry which through several name changes became CSIRO Energy Technology. With Mark Florence, he established the Centre for Advanced Analytical Chemistry in 1990, later becoming the Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research which he co-directed for many years. He was transferred to CSIRO Land and Water in 2006.

Graeme’s research was initially focused on electroanalytical chemistry applied to heavy metals, evolving into studies of environmental chemistry and bioavailability of contaminants in natural water systems with a focus on metal speciation. To date this has resulted in over 350 publications which have been cited some 4 850 times.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and an active member of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry being the foundation president of their Asia/Pacific unit and Chair of their World Congress in Sydney in 2008.

Honours and awards

For his scientific contributions Graeme has received the following major awards:

2006 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Herb Ward Exceptional Service Award
2006 CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement ‘ for research advancing the assessment and regulation of contaminants in aquatic sediments
2006 Land and Water Australia Eureka Prize for Water Research for studies of sediment quality
1996 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal ‘ for the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Study
1995 Royal Australian Chemical Institute Environment Medal
1995 Erskine Fellowship, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
1991 Royal Australian Chemical Institute Analytical Chemistry Medal


  • Batley GE, 2009, Personal communication.