School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Our school specialises in understanding fundamental chemical and physical processes that operate across the physical spheres of Earth. We're motivated by the need to solve current global challenges, such as the state of the atmosphere, greenhouse gases, energy and resource sustainability, and future planetary habitability.

Our research

Our core research focus is on the physical spheres of Earth: the lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. We investigate how these physical spheres have evolved over Earth's history and, through geospatial science, we observe and understand these spheres today and their interactions with all life.

We have a particular research focus on:

  • natural resources
  • Earth observation
  • atmospheric composition and change
  • air quality and pollution
  • natural hazards
  • climate
  • environmental science challenges (including reef restoration and energy).

Earth is our main laboratory and learning-ground for extra-terrestrial ventures. We conduct our research with access to QUT’s state-of-the art instruments and facilities, including those based within the Central Analytical Research Facility (CARF).

International Laboratory of Air Quality and Health

Our academics lead the International Laboratory of Air Quality and Health (ILAQH) researching how air quality impacts human health, with a specific focus on ultrafine and nanoparticles.

Learn more about ILAQH

Biofuel Engine Research Facility

Our researchers lead the Biofuel Engine Research Facilty (BERF), Australia’s largest biofuel production testing facility, specialising in engine performance testing and biofuels emissions testing.

Learn more about BERF

Geological sample preparation facility

This facility hosts a rock crushing and milling lab, and a geological thin section preparation lab for preparing and analysing geological samples.

Analytical chemistry laboratory

This laboratory is home to instruments that chemically analyse a range of gas, liquid and solid samples, down to parts per trillion in cases.

Learn more

Optical and electron microscopy laboratory

This laboratory houses a suite of routine and advanced light and electron microscopes that enables innovative research.

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X-ray and particles laboratory

Our researchers access a range of X-ray-based methods and instrumentation for the phase/mineralogical and chemical characterisation of solid materials.

Learn more

Our courses

Earth Science

"I was fortunate enough to have a very, very engaging and passionate lecturer, and I think really it was his ability to connect with students that really drew me towards it in the first instance. I found that having that passion from the lecturer really facilitated learning."

Katrina Bourke

Bachelor of Science (Earth Science)

Environmental Science

"I like environmental science because it combines a lot of different scientific disciplines into the one. There's chemistry, geology and biology. In environmental science, they all come together."


Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science)


"The interdisciplinary approach at QUT creates a diverse experience in which you learn to apply a thought process, not just knowledge of a specific subject. It helps me with new ways of solving problems as a technical assistant (drilling) in the coal seam gas industry."

Andrew Knuckey

Bachelor of Science (Physics)


"One of the best parts of the chemistry degree is your capstone project, where you actually get to do research on something that’s never been done before. What I got to do was remove BPA which is a common breast cancer causing agent from water, just using clays."


Bachelor of Science (Chemistry)

Our partners

Our researchers collaborate on projects in specialised research groups and facilities across disciplines and institutions.

We partner with businesses and organisations from start-ups to multi-nationals and our scope of application is inclusive.

Ask us about becoming a partner

Industry and community

  • BHP
  • Geoscience Australia
  • Inspector-General Emergency Management
  • International Ocean Discovery Program
  • Lady Cilento Children's Hospital
  • Santos
  • SEQ Water
  • The Prince Charcles Hospital

Government agencies

  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisations (CSIRO)
  • Department of Education & Training
  • Department of Environment and Science
  • Department of Public Works
  • Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • Marine National Facility
  • National Measurement Institute
  • SafeWork Australia
  • Workplace Health & Safety Queensland
  • World Health Organisation

Universities and institutes


  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
  • Australian Synchrotron
  • Centre for Air Pollution, Energy and Health Research
  • Curtin University
  • Deakin University
  • Flinders University
  • Griffith University
  • Macquarie University
  • Monash University
  • QIMR Berhoffer Medical Research Institute
  • QUT Mining
  • RMIT University
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Queensland
  • University of the Sunshine Coast
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Wollongong
  • Woolcock Institute of Medical Research


  • Aix Marseille Université
  • Belgrade University, Serbia
  • Fraunhofer Institute, Germany
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
  • Lublin University of Technology, Poland
  • Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland
  • Rostock University, Germany
  • Università di Brescia, Italy
  • Università di Roma La Sapienza, Italy
  • Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy
  • University of Cassino, Italy
  • University of Pannonia, Hungary
  • University of Salzburg, Austria

Asia and Oceania

  • Australia-China Centre for Air Quality Science and Management
  • City University of Hong Kong, HK, China
  • Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES), Beijing
  • Dalian University of Technology, China
  • East China University of Science and Technology
  • Fudan University
  • Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry (GIG), Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • City University of Hong Kong, HK, China
  • Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HK
  • Jinan University, China
  • Peking University, China
  • Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences, China
  • Sun Yat-Sen University, China
  • Tsinghua University, China
  • The University of Hong Kong

Our people

Our school brings together a diverse team of experts who deliver world-class education and achieve breakthroughs in research.

Explore our staff profiles to discover the amazing work our researchers are contributing to.

Contact us

Find us at
Level 2, R Block, Room 211
Gardens Point