Dr Rai Kookana

Research Scientist; Team Leader

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Dr Kookana has 25 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, 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 and was awarded the Prescott Medal in 2016 for outstanding contributions to soil science.

Recently, the international peak body in chemistry (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry - IUPAC) appointed Dr Kookana as the Vice President of the Chemistry and Environment Division for the 2016-17 biennium.

Dr Kookana has published more than 240 articles that has been cited more than 6600 times. His current (March 2017) ISI H index is 42.

Current Roles

  • Project leader
    PFAS mobility and leachability in NSW soils

  • Key investigator
    Hydraulic fracking chemicals in 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

Achievements and Awards

  • 2016

    JA Prescott Medal
    Soil Science Australia

  • 2017-2018

    Vice President
    Chemistry and the Environment Division, IUPAC

  • 2012-present

    Soil Science Society America

  • 2012-present

    Science Fellow
    Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)


We have publications by Dr Rai Kookana