Emeritus Professor Joan Esterle

Emeritus Professor

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science


Professor Joan Esterle is the Chair of the Vale-UQ Coal Geoscience Program. Her research interests are varied but focussed on how geological history impacts on coal measures behaviour during mining, processing and utilisation. She also develops 3D models for the distribution of sedimentary strata that can be used to predict geohazards in coal mines or reservoir behaviour in conventional and non conventional gas resources, and for geosequestration. In addition to working with Vale and other industry partners, she conducts multi-client studies through the Australian Coal Research Program (ACARP), The Australian National Low Emissions Coal Research (ANLECRD), and the UQ Centre for Coal Seam Gas (CCSG).

She received her PhD from The University of Kentucky, USA, in 1990. She worked for 17 years with CSIRO, followed by GeoGAS-Runge Group before joining the UQ full time in 2010. Current projects include:

  • CCSG Surat Geological Framework and Faults and Fractures
  • ACARP Rangal Supermodel-Bowen Basin and Cenozoic Fault Reactivation
  • ANLEC Outcrop Analogue Modelling for CO2 Sequestration


  • Master of Science, University of Kentucky
  • PhD in Geology, University of Kentucky


  • Esmailpour, R., Alipour, S., Ardejani, F. Doulati, Rodrigues, S. and Esterle, J. (2022). Petrology of the Parvadeh coals, Tabas Basin, Iran. International Journal of Coal Geology, 258 104028, 104028. doi: 10.1016/j.coal.2022.104028

  • Rajabi, Mojtaba, Esterle, Joan, Mukherjee, Saswata and Sliwa Renate (2022). In-situ Stress Pattern of the Bowen Basin, Queensland. 2021 Bowen Basin Symposium, Mackay, QLD, Australia, 28-30 March 2022.

  • Davis, Brooke , Rodrigues, Sandra , Duxbury, Alex , Sliwa, Renate and Esterle, Joan (2022). Geological controls on fluorine and phosphorus in Bowen Basin coals. Australia: Australian Coal Association Research Program.

View all Publications



  • Singh, Ashok K., Masto, Reginald Ebhin, Hazra, Bodhisatwa, Esterle, Joan and Singh, Pradeep K. (2020). Ash from coal and biomass combustion. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-56981-5

Book Chapter

  • Esterle, Joan S. (2008). Mining and Beneficiation. Applied Coal Petrology. (pp. 61-83) Elsevier Ltd. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-045051-3.00003-8

  • Esterle, Joan S. (2008). Mining and Benefication. Applied Coal Petrology: The Role of Petrology in Coal Utilization. (pp. 61-84) edited by I. Suarez-Ruiz and J. C. Crelling. Netherlands: Elsevier.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision