The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Andrew Rate

Dr Andrew Rate

Senior Lecturer
Agriculture and Environment, School of

Contact details
School of Agriculture and Environment
The University of Western Australia (M079)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2500
+61 8 6488 1050
Personal homepage
Room 1.202, Soil Science Building, Perth campus
MSc Cant., PhD Lincoln(NZ)

Husband, dad to 2 great girls, science and geochemistry geek. Love (in no particular order): being outdoors, doing field work, doing multivariate statistical analysis, making sciencey maps, hanging out with my family, getting good data, my church, encouraging and teaching students, environmental and social justice, prog rock/metal, playing guitar, poetry, cycling to work, movies, coffee, . . .

I studied chemistry to MSc level at The University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and eventually graduated with a PhD in Soil Chemistry from Lincoln University, New Zealand. I've worked at UWA since 1995. I now call myself and Environmental Geochemist, with expertise in the application of aquatic physical chemistry and surface chemistry to a range of fundamental and applied research problems. My main current areas of research interest and achievement are: Understanding the behaviour of trace and rare-earth elements in soils, sediments and regolith; Geochemical exploration; Acid sulfate soils; Urban soils and sediments.

安德魯率, 博士

Key research
South Yunderup main drain
Geochemistry of sediments, soils, and regolith
Trace elements in sediments, water, and soils
Acid sulfate soils
Urban soil, sediment, and water
Peer-reviewed articles in last ~5 years

Batista, A.H., Melo, V.F., Rate, A.W., Gilkes, R.J., Saunders, M. and Dodd, A. (2018). Scanning and transmission analytical electron microscopy (STEM-EDX) can identify structural forms of lead by mapping of clay crystals. Geoderma, 310, 191-200. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.09.026.

Batista, A.H., Melo, V.F., Rate, A.W., Uhlmann, A. and Gilkes, R. (2017). More aggressive sequential extraction procedure to access stable forms of Pb and As in clay minerals of soils. Applied Clay Science. doi:10.1016/j.clay.2017.05.020.

Sylvester, G., Mann, A.W., Rate, A.W. and Wilson, C.A. (2017). Application of high resolution soil geochemistry to archaeological investigations: an example from a Roman metal working site, Somerset, United Kingdom. Geoarchaeology, 2017, 1-12.

Rate, A.W. and Sheikh-Abdullah, S.M. (2016). The geochemistry of calcareous forest soils in Sulaymaniyah Governorate, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Geoderma, 289, 54-65.

Melo, V. F., Batista A.H., Gilkes, R.J., Rate, A.W. (2016). Relationship between heavy metals and minerals extracted from soil clay by standard and novel acid extraction procedures. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 188: 668.

Lucas, A.R., Salmon, S.U., Rate, A.W., Larsen, S., Kilminster, K.L., 2015. Spatial and temporal distribution of Au and other trace elements in an estuary using the diffusive gradients in thin films technique and grab sampling. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 171, 156-173.

Peng, B., Rate, A.W., Song, Z., Yu, C., Tang, X., Xie, S., Tu, X., Tan, C., 2014. Geochemistry of major and trace elements and Pb-Sr isotopes of a weathering profile developed on the Lower Cambrian black shales in central Hunan, China. Applied Geochemistry, 51, 191-203.

Lucas, A.R., Salmon, S.U., Reid, N., Rate, A.W., 2014. Quantitative assessment of the distribution of dissolved Au, As and Sb in groundwater using the diffusive gradients in thin films technique. Environmental Science & Technology, 48, 12141-12149. (

Salmon, S.U., Rate, A.W., Rengel, Z., Appleyard, S.J., Prommer, H. and Hinz, C. 2014. Reactive transport controls on sandy acid sulfate soils and impacts on shallow groundwater quality. Water Resources Research, 50, 4924-4952. doi:10.1002/2013WR014404

Lucas, A.R., Rate, A.W., Salmon, S.U., Reid, N., Anand, R.R., 2013. Evaluating the diffusive gradients in thin films technique for the detection of multi-element anomalies in soils. Explore, 161, 1-15.

Du , X., Rate, A.W. and Gee, M.A.M. 2012b. Redistribution and mobilization of titanium, zirconium and thorium in an intensely weathered lateritic profile in Western Australia. Chemical Geology, 330-331, 101–115

Morgan, B., Rate, A.W. and Burton, E.D. 2012d. Trace element reactivity in FeS-rich estuarine sediments: influence of formation environment and acid sulfate soil drainage. Science of the Total Environment, 438, 463–476.

Du, X., Rate, A.W., Gee, M.A.M. 2012a. Particle size fractionation and chemical speciation of REE in a lateritic weathering profile in Western Australia. Explore, 157, 1-14.

Lucas, A.R., Rate, A.W., Zhang, H., Salmon, S.U. and Radford, N.W. 2012. Development of the diffusive gradients in thin films technique for the measurement of labile gold in natural waters. Analytical Chemistry 84, 6994–7000.

Morgan, B., Rate, A.W. and Burton, E.D. 2012c. Water chemistry and nutrient release during the resuspension of FeS-rich sediment in a eutrophic estuarine system. Science of the Total Environment, 432, 47-56.

Morgan, B., Rate, A.W., Burton, E.D. and Smirk, M. 2012b. Enrichment and fractionation of rare earth elements in FeS-rich eutrophic estuarine sediments receiving acid sulfate soil drainage. Chemical Geology 308-309, 60-73.

Morgan, B., Burton, E.D., Rate, A.W. 2012a. Iron monosulfide enrichment and the presence of organosulfur in eutrophic estuarine sediments. Chemical Geology 296-297:119-130.

Santini, T. C., Hinz, C., Rate, A. W., Carter, C. M., & Gilkes, R. J. (2011) In situ neutralisation of uncarbonated bauxite residue mud by cross layer leaching with carbonated bauxite residue mud. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 194, 119-127.

Rate, A.W. (2010) Sorption of cadmium(II) and copper(II) by soil humic acids: temperature effects and sorption heterogeneity. Chemistry and Ecology 26:371-383.

Rate, A.W., Hamon, R.E., Bettenay, L.F. & Gilkes, R.J. (2010). Adjustment of weak partial extraction data assuming metal ion adsorption - examples using bulk cyanide leach. Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis 10, 189-198.

Rate, A.W., Vidot, J.-M., Hamon, R.E., Gilkes, R.J., Bettenay, L.F., Radford, N.W. & Griffin, W.J. (2010). Systematic evaluation of bulk cyanide leach (BCL) parameters affecting extractability of metals from soils. Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis 10, 199-206.

Recent Conference Proceedings

Rate, A.W. (2016). Continental-scale correlation of regolith trace elements with iron. 2016 TIGeR Conference - Rock alteration in the upper Crust: Element mobility and concentration, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia; pp. 55-56.

Xu, N., Rate, A.W. and Morgan, B. (2016). Rare earth element behaviour and iron sulfide formation in dredge spoils and adjacent sediments. 2016 TIGeR Conference - Rock alteration in the upper Crust: Element mobility and concentration, Curtin Univerisity, Perth, Western Australia; pp. 83-84.

Rate, A.W., 2015. Soil, sediment and street dust: An urban case study of the teaching–research nexus. Celebrating Soils 2015. Western Australian Soils Conference, Soil Science Australia, Mandurah, Western Australia.

Rate, A.W., Morgan, B., 2014 Trace element signatures in sulfidic sediments influenced by acid sulfate soils from land-based dredge spoil disposal, 4th National Acid Sulfate Soil Conference, Perth, Western Australia.

Rate, A.W., Hamon, R.E., Radford, N.W., Bettenay, L.F., Gilkes, R.J., 2012. Extractability of metals by bulk cyanide leach (BCL) and the effects of soil properties on extraction, 34th International Geological Congress. Geological Society of Australia, Brisbane, Australia.

Morgan, B., Burton, E.D. and Rate, A.W. 2012. Trace metals and rare-earth elements as geochemical signatures for FeS-rich sediments receiving acidic drainage in a eutrophic estuary. In 'Proceedings of the 3rd National Conference on Acid Sulfate Soils'. Melbourne, Australia. March 5-7, 2012.

Du, X., Rate, A.W. and Gee, M. Translocation and fractionation of Rare Earth Elements in intensely weathered lateritic profiles in Western Australia. Goldschmidt 2011 Conference Abstracts, Prague, p.784.

Lucas, A., Rate, A., Zhang, H. and Salmon, U. 2011. Modifying the diffusive gradients in thin films technique for the geochemical exploration of gold. Goldschmidt 2011 Conference Abstracts, Prague, p.1363.

Du, X., Rate, A.W., and Gee, M. 2010. Geochemical mass-balance in intensely weathered soils, Darling Range, Western Australia. In: Gilkes, R.J. & Prakongkep, N. (Editors). Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science: Soil Solutions for a Changing World. IUSS: Brisbane, Australia. (Published on DVD; ISBN 9780646537832)

Morgan, B., Rate, A.W., Burton, E. and Sullivan, L. 2010. Marine disposal of monosulfide from a eutrophic estuary system and the impact on water chemistry. In: Gilkes, R.J. & Prakongkep, N. (Editors). Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science: Soil Solutions for a Changing World. IUSS: Brisbane, Australia. (Published on DVD; ISBN 9780646537832)

Rate, A.W., and Ma, Y. 2010. Formation of soil geochemical anomalies by plant uptake of trace elements. In: Gilkes, R.J. & Prakongkep, N. (Editors). Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science: Soil Solutions for a Changing World. IUSS: Brisbane, Australia. (Published on DVD; ISBN 9780646537832)

Santini, T. C., Hinz, C., Rate, A. W., Gilkes, R. J., and Carter, C. M., 2010. In situ neutralization of bauxite residue mud('red mud') by cross layer leaching with carbonated mud. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74, A909-A909.

journal word cloud
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Future research

  • microplastics in urban street dusts and stormwater drainage

  • review and recalculation of Gd anomalies to account for anthropogenic Gd

  • preservation of lithogenic immobile element ratios in soils and regolith

  • global controls of trace elements in soils by Fe mineral phases

Funding received
Selected Recent Research Projects:

  • Department of Water (Government of WA). (2017), 'Understanding dynamics of phosphate retention and reactive material stability behaviour of soil amendment blends under extended leaching' (A. Rate, B. Degens)

  • Pilbara Iron Company (Services) Pty Ltd. (2016), 'A method to determine elemental distribution of mineral, non-crystalline and exchangeable phases within iron ores' (A. Rate)

  • ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) 2014, 'Laser ablation multiple split streaming' (A.I.Kemp, M.T.McCulloch, M.Fiorentini, T.C.McCuaig, A.W.Rate, C.F.Clark, B.Rasmussen, N.J.Evans, S.M.Reddy, P.A.Bland, T.Raimondo, N.J.Pearson, E.Belousova, D.E.Jacob, D.Rubatto, C.Spandler, S.J.Barnes)

  • Salazar Gold Pty Ltd., 2014, 'Geochemistry and mineralogy of regolith-hosted rare-earth elements' (A.Rate)

  • Worldwide Universities Network WUN 2013, 'UWA Led - Ancient Soils & Modern Land Use - A Challenge for Critical Zone Science - International Workshop & Summer School' (M. Leopold, D. Gleeson, G. McGrath, A. Rate).

  • Iluka Resources Limited 2012 ‘Literature Review: Geochemical Background and Mobility of Thorium and Uranium from Mineral Sands’ (A. Rate, S.U. Salmon, H. Prommer, Z. Rengel) FOR: 040202

  • Australian Synchrotron. 2011. 'Rare Earth Elements mode of occurrence in iron nodules in Western Australia' (A. Rate, X. Du, M. Gee) RFCD: 260399/259902; FOR: 040299/039901

  • Australian Synchrotron. 2010. 'Unravelling the in-situ mineral transformations of mackinawite in a eutrophic estuary system: a powder diffraction study' (A.Rate, B. Morgan, E. Burton) RFCD: 260399/259902; FOR 040299/039901

  • Australian Synchrotron. 2010. 'Quantitative mineralogy of modified bauxite processing residue, and rare earth minerals in Western Australian laterite' (A.Rate, T.Santini, M.Gee, X.Du) RFCD: 260399/259902; FOR: 040299/039901

  • Australian Research Council Linkage / WA Water Corp. / ALS Laboratory Group. 2008 'Environmental risk assessment of acid sulfate soil formation and pollutant generation in Swan Coastal Plain', RFCD: 300104 (Zed Rengel, Christoph Hinz, Andrew Rate)

  • Australian Research Council Linkage / Newmont Mining Corp. 2008 'Evaluating a biogeochemical mechanism for soil anomaly formation using diffusive thin-film samplers in geochemical exploration', RFCD: 260302 (Andrew Rate, Nigel Radford)

  • Lionore Australia Pty Ltd 2007 'Discharge of Nickel Bearing Mine Water into Lake Hope North - Retention and Release of Nickel by Lake Sediments', RFCD: 259902 (Andrew Rate, Christoph Hinz)

  • UWA Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences 2005 'Diffuse gradients in thin films for sensitive profiling of nutrient gradients and trace elements in soils' (Andrew Rate)

  • Sons of Gwalia Tantalum 2004 'Assessment and Remediation of Arsenic Contamination in a Mine Site Environment', RFCD: 300801 (Andrew Rate, Christoph Hinz)
English, Fortran, R
The Geochemical Society
Association of Applied Geochemists
Honours and awards
  • UWA Student Guild’s Students’ Choice Award for teaching in ENVT3361, Semester 1, 2017

  • Member of teaching team awarded the 2006 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Award for Excellence in Coursework Teaching, for the unit EART1105 Earth and Environment: Dynamic Planet.

  • Morice Fieldes Award 1992 (New Zealand Society of Soil Science) for PhD thesis of exceptional merit.

Soil Science ENVT2236

Environmental Assessment ENVT3361 (coordinator)

Land Rehabilitation EART3339

MSc / Honours

Soil Dynamics ENVT5510 (coordinator)

BSc(Hons) SCIE4501-4504 project supervision
Current external positions
Editorial Board, Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis (
Useful links
Current projects
Iron-stain image 1015x275

**** Potential project areas for prospective students ****

Environmental Geochemistry group, School of Earth & Environment, UWA


  • Geochemistry of trace elements and rare earth elements

    ¤ in estuarine sediments

    ¤ in urban soils and sediments

    ¤ in deeply weathered soil/regolith

    ¤ in nodular regolith ferricretes and/or carbonates

  • Acid sulfate soils:

    ¤ early diagenesis of sulfides in estuarine sediments;

    ¤ export of trace / rare earth elements (potential contaminants) to water & sediments;

    ¤ landscape and other controls on distribution of co-contaminants (arsenic, heavy metals);

    ¤ effects of groundwater-level seasonality on sulfide oxidation;

    ¤ corrosion of concrete and steel infrastructure;

    ¤ use of electron microprobe and synchrotron X-ray techniques...

  • Significance of soil charcoal as a trace element sink

  • Novel applications of diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT)

  • Quantitative modelling of pedogenetic processes using geochemical / transport models

Current and Recent PhD and MSc by Research students:

  • NianNian 'Jasmine' Xu (PhD 2013- ) "Sources and sinks of rare-earth and associated trace elements in sulfidic estuarine sediments" (

  • Graham Sylvester (PhD 2013- ) "Evaluating partial extraction soil geochemistry in archaeological exploration" (

  • Josh Pearce (MSc completed 2015) "Physical and chemical weathering of Mount McRae shale" (

  • AndyDr Andy Lucas (PhD completed in 2014) "Evaluating a biogeochemical mechanism for soil anomaly formation using passive diffusion samplers in geochemical exploration" (

  • XinDr Xin Du (PhD completed in 2012)
    "Occurrence and behaviour of rare earth and associated elements in lateritic regolith profiles, Western Australia" (

  • BreeDr Bree Morgan (PhD completed in 2012) (PhD completed in 2012) "Sulfur geochemistry as a driver of trace metal, rare earth element and nutrient cycles in eutrophic estuarine
    sediment" (

  • TalithaDr Talitha Santini (PhD completed in 2012) "Chemical and mineralogical aspects of soil formation in bauxite residue" (

  • Dr Yamin Ma (PhD completed in 2008) - "Vegetation as a biotic driver for the formation of soil geochemical anomalies for mineral exploration of covered terrains"

Selected Recent Honours and MSc Coursework/Dissertation Students:

  • Eleanor Liddle (Honours 2016) "Acid sulfate impacts on an estuarine environment associated with dredge spoil disposed on land"

  • Korin Wyatt (MSc 2016-7) "Comparison of chemical techniques to measure amorphous mineral content in iron ores and associated materials"

  • Huaji Lei (MSc 2015) "Trace element environmental geochemistry of sediments fringing the Swan-Canning estuary"

  • Tiffany Collins (Honours 2014) - "Geochemistry and mineralogy of regolith-hosted rare-earth elements"

  • Zhaohui Chen (MSc 2014) "Geochemical associations and enrichment of rare-earth elements in mineralised regolith"

  • Kai-Ying Khoo (Honours 2013-4) - "Acid sulfate and trace element signatures of drought-affected wetlands fringing the Swan-Canning estuary system"

  • Victor Cha (Honours 2013) - "The use of combined trace element and soil property data as predictors for the partial extraction of metals"

  • Claire Toms (Honours 2012) - "The effect of acidification processes occurring at depth in the Ellenbrook catchment"

  • Graeme Hardwick (Honours 2012) - "Dispersion of gold and pathfinder elements through the regolith, southern Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia"

260304 (FOR Codes 040299, 050304, 039901)
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM