Associate Professor Gavin Birch, MSc, PhD, Grad.Dip.Ind.Admin
Madsen Building (F09), Rm462
Phone: +61 2 9351 2921
Fax: +61 2 9351 3644
In 1991 Gavin moved from the petroleum industry to the University of Sydney to undertake research in Environmental Science. He has five major ongoing research projects and is a consultant to industry and local government in these fields.
- Assessment of impact of marine waste disposal,
- Determining estuarine processes and developing a contaminant model for complex mixed/stratified estuaries,
- Constructing models to quantify sediment toxicity,
- Providing remedial options for effective stormwater management, recycling and water harvesting,
- Developing sedimentary metals as a new ecosystem indicator for estuarine environments
Grants and Consultancies
Gavin Birch has been successful in competitive grant applications from many granting bodies including, Australian Research Council (five large ARC grants, three small ARC grants and a large equipment grant), two Environmental Trust grants, four Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology grants, three National Heritage Trust grants, one industrial research grant and a number of smaller grants ($2.2m) as well as numerous other grants ($2.5m).
Professional Consultancies and Commissioned Research include income from NSW EPA, Olympic Co-ordination Authority, Councils, Government institutions and industry.
Gavin Birch has supervised 83 postgraduate and Honours students, comprising 39 Honours students; 30 Applied Masters students; and 14 MSc/PhD students. He currently supervises 3 PhD; 1 MSc, 2 Honours and 4 MApplSci students.
He has attracted PhD students from Brazil and Korea and visiting professors from China, Iran, United Kingdom, Canada and the US. Gavin has supervised students from the UK, France Germany, New Zealand and the US on extended work experience arrangements.
All environmental students have been successful in attaining quality employment in industry and academia, locally and overseas.
Gavin Birch has authored over 130 peer-reviewed scientific publications, including three books, and seven book chapters, as well as over 100 non-refereed conference abstracts and reports.
- Birch, G. F., 2000. Marine pollution in Australia, with special emphasis on central New South Wales estuaries and adjacent continental margin. International Journal of Environmental Pollution, 13, 1-6, 411-423.
- Birch, G. F. and Taylor, S. E., 2000. The distribution and possible sources of organochlorine residues in sediments of a large urban estuary, Port Jackson, Sydney. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 47, 749-756.
- Birch, G. F. and Taylor, S. E., 2000. The use of size-normalisation procedures in the analysis of organic contaminants in estuarine environments. Hydrobiologia, 431, 129-133.
- Matthai, C. and Birch, G. F., 2000. Trace metals and organochlorines in sediments near a major ocean outfall on a high energy continental margin (Sydney, Australia), Environmental Pollution, 110, 411-423
- McCready, S., Slee, D., Birch, G. F. and Taylor, S. E., 2000. The distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surficial sediments of Sydney Harbour, Australia. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 40/11, 999-1006
- Matthai, C. and Birch, G. F., 2000. Dispersion of dredge spoil dumped on a high energy continental margin (southeastern Australia). Journal of Marine Environmental Engineering, 6, 1-32
- Clark, M. W., Davis-McConchie, F., McConchie, D. and Birch, G. F., 2000. Selective chemical extraction and grain size normalisation for environmental assessment of anoxic sediments: validation of an integrated procedure. Science of the Total Environment, 258, 14-170.
- Matthai, C. and Birch, G. F., 2000. Effects of coastal cities on surficial sediments mantling an adjacent high energy continental margin – Central New South Wales, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 51, 565-576
- Matthai, C., Birch, G. F., Jenkins, A. and Heijnis, H., 2000. Physical resuspension and vertical mixing of sediments on a high energy continental margin (Sydney, Australia). Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 52, 67-89
- Barry, S. C., Taylor, S. E. and Birch, G. F., 2001. Heavy metal supply to the Port Jackson Estuary, Australia by stormwater. Australian Journal of Water Resources, 4/2, 147-154
- Birch, G. F., Siaka, M and Owens, C., 2001. The source of anthropogenic heavy metals in fluvial sediments of a rural catchment: Coxs River, Australia. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 126, 13-35
- Birch, G. F., Taylor, S. E. and Matthai, C., 2001. The role of geology in environmental science: an example of pollution assessment of the estuarine and marine environment in central New South Wales. In: Gondwana to Greenhouse. Ed. V. Gostin. Australian Environmental Geoscience. Publ. Geological Society of Australia Special Publication, No. 21. Chapter 21, 243-254
- Birch, G. F., Taylor, S. E. and Matthai, C., 2001. Small-scale spatial and temporal variance in the concentration of heavy metals in aquatic sediments: A review and some new concepts. Environmental Pollution, 113, 357-372
- Hatje, V., Rae, K. and Birch, G. F., 2001. Trace metal and total suspended solids concentrations in freshwater: The importance of small-scale temporal variation. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 3, 251-258
- Hatje, V., Birch, G. F. and Hill, D. M., 2001. Spatial and temporal variability of particulate trace metals in Port Jackson estuary, Australia. Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 53, 63-77.
- Matthai, C. and Birch, G. F., 2001. Detection of anthropogenic Cu, Pb and Zn in continental shelf sediments off Sydney, Australia – A new approach using normalization with cobalt. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 42/11, 1055-1063.
- Birch, G. F. and Taylor, S. E., 2002. Possible biological significance of contaminated sediments in Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 77, 179-190.
- Matthai, C., Birch, G. F. and Bickford, G., 2002. Anthropogenic trace metals in sediment and settling particulate matter on a high energy continental margin Sydney, Australia). Marine Environmental Research. Marine Environmental Research, 54, 99-127.
- Simpson, S., Rochford, L. and Birch, G. F., 2002. Geochemical influences on metal partitioning in contaminated estuarine sediments. Marine and Freshwater Research, 53, 9-17.
- Birch, G. F. and Taylor, S. E., 2002. Application of sediment quality guidelines in the assessment of contaminated surficial sediments in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), Australia. Environmental Management, 29/6, 860-870
- Birch, G. F. and Taylor, S. E., 2002. Assessment of possible sediment toxicity of contaminated sediments in Port Jackson estuary, Sydney, Australia. Hydrobiologia, 472, 19-27.
- Birch, G. F., Fazeli, M. S. and Matthai, C., 2005. Efficiency of stormwater infiltration in removing contaminants from urban stormwater. Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 101, 23-38.
- Suh, J. and Birch, G. F., 2005.Use of grain-size and elemental normalisation in the interpretation of trace element concentrations in soils of the reclaimed area adjoining Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 160, 357-371.
- Golding, C., Smernik, R. J. and Birch, G. F., 2005. Investigation of the role structural domains identified in sedimentary organic mater in the sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds. Environmental Science and Technology, 39, 3925-3932.
- McCready, S, Greely, C. R., Hyne, R. V., Birch, G. F., and Long, E. R., 2005. Sensitivity of an indigenous amphipod, Corophium sp. to chemical contaminants in laboratory toxicity tests conducted with field collected sediment from Sydney Harbour, Australia and vicinity. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 24/10, 2545-2552.
- McCready, S., Birch, G. F., Long, E. R., Spyrakis, G. and Greely, C. R., 2006. An evaluation of Australian sediment quality guidelines, Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 50/3, 306-315.
- McCready, S., Birch, G. F. and Long, E. R., 2006. Metallic and organic contaminants in sediments of Sydney Harbour and vicinity - A chemical dataset for evaluating sediment quality guidelines. Environment International, 32, 455-465
- McCready, S., Birch, G. F., Long, E. L., Spyrakis, G., and Greely, C. R., 2006. Predictive abilities of numerical sediment quality guidelines for Sydney Harbour, Australia and vicinity. Environment International, 32, 638-649.
- Gillis, A. and Birch, G. F., 2006. Investigation of anthropogenic trace metals in sediments of Lake Illawarra, New South Wales. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 53, 521-537.
- Birch, G. F., Matthai, C., and Fazeli, M. S., 2006. Efficiency of a retention/detention basin to remove contaminants from urban stormwater. Urban Water Journal, 3/2, 69-77.
- McCready, S., Birch, G. F., Long, E. R., Spyrakis, G. and Greely, C. R., 2006. Relationships between toxicity and concentrations of chemical contaminants in sediments from Sydney Harbour, Australia, and vicinity. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 120, 187-220.
- Birch, G. F., Harrington, C., Symons, R. K. and Hunt, J. W. 2007. The Source and Distribution of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxin and Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans in Sediments of Port Jackson, Australia. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 54, 295-308.
- Golding, C. J., Gobas, F. A. P. C. and Birch, G. F., 2007. Characterisation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon availability in estuarine sediments using thin-film extraction. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 26/5, 829-836.
- Birch, G. F. 2007. A short geological and environmental history of the Sydney estuary, Australia, pp 217-246. In: Water, Wind, Art and Debate. Ed. G. F. Birch, Sydney University Press, The Sydney University, Australia. 433p.
- Birch, G. F. and O’Hea, L., 2007. The chemistry of suspended particulate material in a highly contaminated embayment of Port Jackson (Australia) under various meteorological conditions. Environmental Geology, 53, 501-516.
- Birch, G. F. 2007. Water, Wind, Art and Debate. Ed. G. F. Birch, Sydney University Press, The Sydney University, Australia. 433p.
- Olmos, M. and Birch, G. F., 2008. Application of sediment-bound heavy metals in studies of estuarine health: a case study of Brisbane water, New South Wales. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 55, 641-654.
- Birch, G. F., Russell, A. T. and Mudge, S. M., 2008. Normalisation techniques in forensic assessment of contaminated environments. In: Methods in Environmental Forensics Eds. Ball, A.S. and Mudge, S.M. Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL, USA.
- Golding, C.J.; Gobas, F.A.P.C.; Birch, G.F., 2008. A fugacity approach for assessing the bioaccumulation of hydrophobic organic compounds from estuarine sediment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 27/5, 1047-1054.
- Birch, G. F., McCready, S., Long, E, R., Taylor, S. E. and Spyrakis, G. 2008. Contaminant chemistry and toxicity of sediments in Sydney Harbour, Australia: spatial extent and chemistry-toxicity relationships. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 363, 71-87.
- Hunt, J., Birch, G. F. and Warne, M. St. J, 2008. Deriving trigger values for, and assessing hazard posed by, volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons in a Sydney estuary, Australian Journal of Ecotoxicology, 12, 33-42.
- Birch, G. F. and Olmos, M. 2008. Sediment-bound heavy metals as indicators of human influence and biological risk in coastal water bodies. Journal of Marine Science, 65, 1407-1413.
- Davis, B and Birch, G. F., 2009. Catchment-Wide Assessment of the Cost-Effectiveness of Stormwater Remediation Measures in Urban Areas, Environmental Science and Policy, 12/1, 84-91.
- Birch, G. F. and Matthai, C., 2009. Efficiency of a continuous deflection separation unit in removing contaminants from urban stormwater. Journal of Urban Water, DOI: 10.1080/15730620902807056
- Birch, G. F. and McCready, S., 2009. Catchment sources of heavy metal contamination and influence on the quality of receiving basin sediments in Port Jackson, Australia. The Science of the Total Environment, 407, 2820-2835.
- Hunt, J., Birch, G. F., Warne, M. St J., Krassoi, R., 2009. Direct toxicity assessment of volatile chlorinated hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater and derivation of a site-specific guideline. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 407, 2820-2835.
- Hunt, J., Birch, G. F., Warne, M. and Krassoi, R., 2009. Evaluation of a methodology for toxicity testing of volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons on marine organisms, Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Technology, 82, 743-748.
- Birch, G. F., Cruikshank, B. and Davis, B., 2009. Modelling nutrient loads to Sydney estuary (Australia). Environmental Modelling and Assessment, DOI10.1007/s10661-009-1053-z
- Birch, G. F., Murray, O., Johnson, I. and Wilson, A., 2009. Reclamation in Sydney Estuary, 1788-2002. Australian Geographer, 40/3, 347-368.
- Birch, G. F. and Hutson, P., 2009. Use of sediment risk and ecological/conservation value for strategic management of estuarine environments (Sydney estuary, Australia). Environmental Management, 44/4, 836-850.
- Olmos, M. A. and Birch, G. F. 2009. A novel method for measuring anthropogenic change in coastal lake environments, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, DOI 10.1007/s11356-009-0250-1
- Birch, G. F. and Rochford, L., 2009. Stormwater metal loads to the Sydney estuary (Australia), Environmental Modeling and Assessment, DOI 10.1007/s10661-009-1195-z
- Davis, B. S. and G. F. Birch, 2010. Spatial distribution of bulk atmospheric deposition of heavy metals in metropolitan Sydney, Australia. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, DOI:10.1007/s11270-010-0411-3.
- Hunt, J., Birch, G. F. and Warne, M. St J., 2010. Site-specific probabilistic ecological risk assessment an a volatile chlorinated hydrocarbon-contaminated tidal estuary. Environmental Toxicity and Chemistry, 29, 1-10.
- Davis, B S. and Birch, G. F. 2010. Comparison of heavy metal loads in stormwater runoff from major and minor urban roads using pollutant yield rating curves. Environmental Pollution
- Birch, G. F., Vandenhayden, and M., Olmos, M. 2010. The nature and distribution of metals in soils of the Sydney estuary catchment (Australia). Water, Air and Soil Pollution