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Dr Rai Kookana

Chief Research Scientist


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Dr Kookana has 30 years research experience as an environmental chemist focusing on the fate of organic contaminants, including pesticides, endocrine disrupting chemicals, pharmaceuticals, personal care products as well as other xenobiotics (nanoparticles) and other emerging contaminants (e.g. hydraulic fracking chemicals, Per- and polyfluorinated alkylsubstances PFAS) in the environment. The focus of his research has been on understanding the fate and effects of organic contaminants in the environment with a view to managing and mitigating their ecological risks.

Dr Kookana received his Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Agriculture (1978) and the Master of Science in Soil Science (1980) degrees from Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India. In 1989 he was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Soil Science by The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

For his pioneering scientific contributions and delivery of outcomes and impact to government and industry Dr Kookana was elected a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America. Soil Science Australia awarded the prestigious Prescott Medal in 2016 for his outstanding contributions to soil science.

Dr Kookana served as the President of the IUPAC Division of Chemistry and the Environment for the 2018-19 biennium. IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry - IUPAC) is the international peak body in chemistry. He also served as a Science Fellow of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary medicines Authority (APVMA). Dr Kookana is currently a member of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, representing IUPAC.

Dr Kookana has published more than 260 articles that has been cited more than 10,000 times.
His current (Aug 2020) H index is 50 (ISI) and 62 (Google Scholar).

Other Interests


Current Roles

  • Project leader
    PFAS mobility and leachability through soils and groundwaters

  • Key investigator
    Hydraulic fracking chemicals in the environment

  • Key investigator
    Sustainable Expansion of Agriculure- Northern Adelaide Plain

Academic Qualifications

  • 1989

    PhD Soil Science
    University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

  • 1980

    M.Sc. Soil Science
    Haryana Agril. University, Hisar, India

  • 1978

    B.Sc. (Hons) Agriculure
    Haryana Agril. University, Hisar, India

Professional Experiences

  • 2018-2019

    IUPAC Chemistry and the Environment Division

  • 2014-current

    Team Leader

  • 2012-current

    Principal/ Chief Research Scientist

  • 2012-Current

    Honorary Professor
    University of Adelaide

  • 1992-2012

    Research Scientist

Achievements and Awards

  • 2016

    JA Prescott Medal
    Soil Science Australia

  • 2017-2018

    IUPAC Chemistry and the Environment Division

  • 2012-present

    Soil Science Society America

  • 2012-present

    Science Fellow
    Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)


We have publications by Dr Rai Kookana