Associate Professor Bryce Kelly
Field of Research: 
Air, Water, Isotopes, Greenhouse Gases
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 1853
Room 5115, Level 5
Biological Sciences South (E26)

UNSW, Kensington 2052

Research & Current Projects


My research focuses on:
  • Managing surface and ground water throughout the Murray-Darling Basin,
  • Measuring greenhouse gases sources and sinks,
  • Carbon accounting, comparing top-down versus bottom-up emissions inventories, and
  • Characterising the isotopic signature of sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

Methane mole fraction in the ground level atmosphere, Hunter Valley, NSW.


  • Evaluating the extent of hydraulic connectivity between the Great Artesian Basin and the Namoi Alluvium (Funded by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation).
  • Assessing the extent of off-farm nitrogen fertiliser movement to aquifers, rivers and the atmosphere: Fitzroy, Namoi, and Murrumbidgee Catchments (Funded by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation).
  • Quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from coal seam gas production in the Surat Basin.
  • Mapping greenhouse emissions and quantifying fluxes in urban environments.
  • Characterising the isotopic signature of greenhouse gases.


Australian Geographic: What’s the Hurry with CSG fracking?

The Conversation: River on fire: even if it’s not coal seam gas we should still be concerned

The Conversation: Australia’s coal mines are pouring methane gas into the atmosphere

The Conversation: Stalagmites preserve 3,000 years of northern hemisphere climate

The Conversation: CSG conflict – we know what we don’t know, let’s do something about it 

The Land: Multi-generational Approach to Groundwater Recharge





  • GEOS1111 Fundamentals of Geology (Lecturer)
  • GEOS2291 Earth’s Interconnections (Course Coordinator, Lecturer)
  • GEOS3733 Environmental Geophysics – undergraduate (Lecturer)
  • GEOS6733 Environmental Geophysics – postgraduate (Lecturer)


Research Team

  • Charlotte Iverach – PhD candidate: Hydrogeochemistry of the Condamine and Lower Namoi alluvial aquifers, (joint supervisor Dr. Dioni Cendon, ANSTO).
  • Mark Hocking – PhD candidate: Groundwater flow modelling and uncertainty. (joint supervisor Dr. Craig Beverly, Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries)
  • Stephen Harris – PhD candidate: Quantifying the off-farm movement of nitrogen fertiliser in the Namoi and Fitzroy catchments. (joint supervisor Dr. Dioni Cendon, ANSTO)
  • Xinyi Lu – PhD candidate: Characterising the isotopic signature of methane in urban, rural and industrial environments. (joint supervisors Dr. Zoe Loh, and Dr. Rebecca Fisher, Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • Shuang Xiao – Assessing the off-farm movement of nitrogen fertiliser in the Murrumbidgee catchment (joint supervisor Dr. Dioni Cendon, ANSTO).
  • Calvin Li – MPhil Candidate: Hydrogeology Maules Creek (co-supervisor, primary supervisor A./Prof Martin Andersen, co-supervisor Dr. Gabriel Rau)
  • Jessica Watson –Science Undergraduate. Research Assistant.

For former students please see below.



Please also see Google Scholar


Awards & Achievements
  • Finalist, 2016 Cotton Industry Researcher of the Year
  • Finalist, 2011 Eureka Prize in the category “National Water Commission Professor Peter Cullen Eureka Prize for Water Research and Innovation”.
  • Cotton Catchment Communities CRC – Achiever of the month award for “The development of a new approach for constructing 3D conceptual hydrogeological models of catchments”. September 2010.
  • Cotton Catchment Communities CRC - Science and Innovation award for “The Development of Electrical Imaging Techniques for Soil Water Monitoring”, 2007


Professional Affiliations
  • Member - American Geophysical Union
  • Member – European Geosciences Union
  • Member – International Association of Hydrogeology


Advise for Prospective Students

Over the next century there will be unprecedented pressures on the environment (particularly on water, soil and air) due to global warming and increasing population. There is a critical need to measure greenhouse gas emissions, so that their generation can be managed. Australia is large and we need many people involved to improve our understanding of water and gas movement throughout the landscape. Being involved in measuring water movement and sources and sinks of greenhouse gases is one way to make a positive contribution to managing the impacts of global warming. UNSW is at the forefront of measuring gases and their isotopic compositions. Within our gas lab we have:

  • Picarro G2132-i Analyser for δ13C for methane
  • Picarro G2201-i Analyser for δ13C for methane and carbon dioxide
  • Los Gatos Research Isotopic N2O Analyser (site-specific δ15N, δ18O and N2O)
  • Los Gatos Research Ultraportable Greenhouse Gas Analyser (CH4, CO2, H2O)
  • Los Gatos Research dissolved gas extraction unit

We also have access to facilities within the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre:

And we work closely with the Institute for Environmental Research at ANSTO:

The Connected Waters Initiative Research Centre has a wide variety of near-surface geophysical and hydrological measurement systems: 

Supervision Opportunities/Areas

Both CES and CWI are seeking high-quality international and domestic applicants to apply for PhD positions. Applicants must have a 1st class honours degree (or equivalent), or a higher degree (MSc or MRes) and evidence of research experience. The international scholarships are highly competitive. Ideally the candidate will have an outstanding undergraduate degree from a top 100 University on the QS, Times, or Shanghai Jao Tong rankings. The candidate will have one or more first author journal papers in a leading journal. All applicants must develop a short research proposal with their potential supervisor. International applicants must also meet English language qualifications.

Details on International scholarships are located here:

Details on Domestic scholarships are located here

For studies with particular reference to: the quantification of greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands, estuaries, urban settings, coal mining and gas production; measuring and modelling terrestrial biosphere-atmosphere fluxes of water, CO2, CH4 and N20; using stable isotopes as tracers, please send your resume to


Past Research Students

PhD Graduates

Scott Cook (2018) A Multifaceted Evaluation of Hydraulic Connectivity in Heterogeneous Alluvium,UNSW Sydney, (co-supervisor, primary supervisor Dr. Wendy Timms).

Mohammadreza Keshavarzi (2018) “Assessing hydraulic connection and dissolved organic matter in a karst landscape: Wellington, Australia”, UNSW Sydney, (co-supervisor, primary supervisor Prof. Andy Baker (UNSW)).

Dane Burkett (2017) “Geological evolution of the Kulumadau and Busai deposits, Woodlark Island, Papua New Guinea”, UNSW Sydney, (supervisor Ian Graham, Co-supervisors are A/Prof Bryce Kelly (UNSW), A/Prof David Cohen (UNSW), Dr. Paul Lennox (UNSW) and Mr Lee Spencer (Kula Gold Pty Ltd)

Jie Yan (2015) “The Kinematic Reconstruction of the Hastings Block, Southern New England Orogen”, UNSW Sydney, (co-supervisor, primary supervisor Dr. Paul Lennox (UNSW)).

Anna Katrin-Greve (2010) “Detection of Subsurface Cracking Depth through Electrical Resistivity Anisotropy”, UNSW Sydney (co-supervisor, primary supervisor Prof. Ian Acworth).

Justin Ugbo (2010) “Direct Estimation of an Equivalent Shaliness Parameter Using Resistivity and Spectroscopy  Logs: A Total Expansible Clay Approach”, UNSW Sydney, (co-supervisor, primary supervisor Prof. Col Ward).

Fathi Swaid (2008) “Resistivity Measurements of Vadose Zone Properties“,  University of Technology, Sydney. (joint supervisor with A/Prof. Noel Merrick).

Masters by Research

Mahbuba Rahman (2005) A Statistical Analysis of Hydrograph Data for Estimating Recharge in the Lower Namoi Valley, NSW, Australia. University of Technology, Sydney.

Masters by Coursework Research Project Supervision UNSW and UTS

Corinna De Castro (2015), Melissa Woltmann (2011), Danielle Ord (2010), Jason Carr (2010), Amalia Mokas (2009), Brian Tripolone (2009), Daniel Logan (2009), Blaire Coleman (2007), Sandro Jesus Sales (2006), Md Arful Islam (2006), Ferdie Billones (2006), Barbara Hart (2006), Linda Chau (2006), Dennis Arne (2005), Jamie McCorkell (2005), Karol Patino Patarroyo (2005), Robyn Loomes (2005), Ke Ye (2005), David Reinke (2005), Scott Burrows (2005), Abdulrahim M. Imhamed Elzanati (2004), Mohammed Shamsudduha (2004), Fawzi S. Saeid (2004), Wendy Paton (2004),  Stuart  Brown (2003), Ainslie Williams (2003).

Honours Projects Supervision UNSW

Elisa Ginty (2016), Marija Simic (2015), Natalie Tan (2015), Charlotte Iverach (2014), Lucienne Martel (2014) Liza McDonough (2014), Michael Lombardo (2014), Justin Yin Cheong Lee (2014), Joss Jesse (2014), Aaron Fordham (2012), Bilal Khan (2012), Chris Farley (2011), Kathryn Ludowici (2010), Anthony Bowling (2009), James Douglas (2009), Cynthia The (2008).