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Research Director, Unconventional Gas, CSIRO

Professor Damian Barrett is leading CSIRO’s research in unconventional gas. Professor Barrett is also the Director of GISERA, the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA). GISERA is a vehicle initiated by Australia Pacific LNG and CSIRO to foster collaborative public good research into the social and environmental challenges and opportunities associated with Australia’s growing gas industry. Its research focuses on:
* surface and groundwater
* greenhouse gas footprint
* agricultural land management
* social and economic issues
* terrestrial biodiversity
* marine environment.

In addition, Professor Barrett is an Adjunct Professor with the Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry, Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland.

His current research interests include:
* integrated research into assessing environmental impacts and trade-offs associated with land, water and mining in landscapes environmental biophysical modelling of energy, carbon, water and nutrient fluxes in landscapes physical hydrology, ecosystem services and sustainable development.

Professor Barrett has more than 20 years research experience in CSIRO, the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Greenhouse Accounting, the eWater CRC and the University of Queensland. Prior to his current role, he was Professor and Director of the Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry at the Sustainable Minerals Institute of the University of Queensland.

Before that, Professor Barrett held various positions within CSIRO, where he started as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in 1993. He has worked on projects covering climate change and terrestrial ecosystems, environmental remote sensing, water forecasting and carbon and water cycle modelling.

Professor Barrett leads a team of researchers aiming to provide independent advice, underpinned by robust science, on some of the challenges and opportunities of Australia’s unconventional gas industry.

Professor Barrett was International Co-Chair of the Third International Congress on Water Management in the Mining Industry, Santiago, Chile (6 - 12 June 2012) and a member of the International Review Panel for the 'National Strategy on Climate Change and Low Carbon Development for the Government of Rwanda', Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, UK (July 2011).
He was also Principal Investigator of a NASA ‘Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences’ (ROSES) project on ‘Carbon, Water and Energy Fluxes of Tropical Savannas’, in collaboration with the University of Montana and University of North Dakota.

Professor Barrett has received funding from:
Australian Greenhouse Office (now Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency)
National Land and Water Resources Audit
CSIRO Climate Change Research Program
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
RITE (Japan)
State government agencies
Australian Coal Association Research Program
Australian Research Council
all the major global mining companies.

He has contributed to government policy development through submissions to the Senate Enquiries on Australia's response to global warming, the Convention on Climate Change and ‘Impacts of Mining in the Murray-Darling Basin’.


  • –present
    Research Director, Unconventional Gas, CSIRO


  • 1992 
    Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University
  • 1987 
    University of Adelaide, Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours