Dr Grant Dawson

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 52130


Grant Dawson finished his PhD thesis in 2012, which was entitled “Carbon sequestration in coal: The relationships between coal structure, texture, and mineralogy, and the role of mineral reactivity with carbonic acid.” Grant has also participated in both conventional and bioengineered coal seam gas (a.k.a. coal bed methane) research. Grant’s present research is focused upon laboratory scale studies of carbon dioxide geosequestration in sandstone formations, the physical & chemical conditions of past natural carbonate mineralisation in the Eromanga & Surat Basins in the context of hydrocarbon presence/absence as well as local and regional geology, and methods of artificially accelerating mineral trapping of CO2. Grant’s current work involves whole-rock and individual mineral batch reactor experiments with CO2 in fresh or saline waters, characterisation of samples before and after reactions using techniques such as SEM-EDS and X-ray micro CT scanning, and also natural analogue studies and related laboratory experiments which seek to determine mineral trapping mechanisms that could potentially be engineered or accelerated in sandstone and caprock formations.

Research Interests

  • CO2 Sequestration
    The long term geological storage of carbon dioxide emissions in order to mitigate anthropogenic climate change.
  • Coal Geology & Petrology
    The study of coal and related geology. Aside from mining and coal seam gas recovery, coal is also useful for palaeo-climatology and palaeo-ecology studies, and can also contain structural and related mineralogical information useful for basin analysis.
  • Petroleum Geology
    Good petroleum traps are generally also good CO2 traps. Hydrocarbon accumulations and migration can in places have associated carbonate mineralisation; the reasons and mechanisms for this are of use for the study of CO2 mineral trapping.
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy
    A high resolution imaging technique which, if coupled with Energy Dispersive Spectrometry, can also give semi-quantitative compositional information for a sample surface.
  • Isotope Geochemistry
    The use of both stable and radiogenic isotopes to characterise or date mineralisation.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Queensland


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Book Chapter

  • Pearce, Julie K. and Dawson, Grant K. W. (2019). Gas-water-mineral reactivity in caprocks: measurements, estimates, and observations. Geological carbon storage: subsurface seals and caprock integrity. (pp. 147-165) edited by Stéphanie Vialle, Jonathan Ajo‐Franklin and J. William Carey. Washington, DC, United States: American Geophysical Union.

  • Pearce, Julie K. and Dawson, Grant K. W. (2018). Gas‐water‐mineral reactivity in caprocks. Geological Carbon Storage. (pp. 147-165) edited by Stephanie Vialle, Jonathan Ajo-Franklin and J. William Carey. Hoboken, NJ United States: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781119118657.ch7

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)