Dr Narottam Saha

Research Fellow

Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation
Sustainable Minerals Institute
+61 7 334 64414


Dr Narottam Saha is specialized in the area of environmental analytical chemistry and geochemistry, with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Applied Chemistry and Chemical Technology, a second Masters Degree (Distinction) in Environmental Sciences ( University of East Anglia, UEA, UK), and PhD in geochemistry (The University of Queensland). In his Masters study, Saha received a commonwealth scholarship, one of the most prestigious international scholarship schemes, for Master Degree in Environmental Sciences, with special emphasis on Clumped Isotope geochemistry and climate science. In 2014, Saha received Australia’s federal government scholarship (IPRS) for undertaking his PhD degree. Saha’s research achievements were well recognised with awards of Stanley Gray Fellowship from Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST, UK) for coral reef research and National Science and Information & Communication Technology (NSICT) Fellowship (2010) from Government of Bangladesh for heavy metal pollution research.

His multidisciplinary research experiences include biogeochemistry of heavy metals, assessment of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks for the population exposed to heavy metals, clumped isotopes geochemistry in recovering palaeo-climate history and developing trace element proxies in coral carbonate skeleton to trace historical gradients of inshore coastal water quality. His PhD research highlights the potential of self-referencing rare earth elements over traditional trace elemental proxies for reconstructing marine water quality, degradation of which is considered as one of the major threats in declining the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) coral community. He has been the first to have discovered a noble V/Ca proxy, which is decoupled from other commonly used runoff proxies, for monitoring historical catchment clearing and firing in coastal areas. His discovery has direct relevance to environmental protection for reefs in the GBR through promoting better land management with improved water quality.

Research Interests

  • Ecological engineering of red mud
    Dr Narottam Saha is a biogeochemist. His primary research interest is in understanding the biogeochemistry of trace elements and their cycling in the environment, with projects addressing key research questions related to ecological engineering of red mud into functional soil for sustainable rehabilitation of mined land.
  • organic-inorganic complexation of metal(loid)s
    Physicochemical speciation and organic-inorganic complexation of metal(loid)s and rare earth elements (REE) to understand their fate and transport in the continuum of contaminated soil/tailings-water-vegetation, which is critical for understanding risks of mine wastes (e.g., tailings, wastewater) and designing effective intervention for alleviating the risks.
  • Metal stable isotope geochemistry
    Investigation of sensitive shifts in the relative abundance of metal stable isotopes tracing sources and elucidating processes of their migration pathways from mine tailing and soil to plants to natural waterways and eventually into the oceans.
  • Bio-imaging of metal(loid)s
    Bio-imaging to understand compartmentalization of metal(loid)s and REEs in plant tissues/organs, their uptake mechanism and translocation pathways.
  • Heavy metal pollution
    Metal(loid) contamination in food chain and aquatic ecosystems, and assessment of associated human and ecological risks.
  • Coral reef research
    Understanding the dynamics of trace metal geochemistry in coral skeleton and proxy based reconstruction to infer long-term anthropogenic forcing on coral reefs.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Qld


View all Publications


  • Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

Journal Article

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors: