AIMS-NT Science Leader
Officer-in-Charge, Arafura Timor Research Facility (ATRF)
My experience in aquatic science evolved from a chemical oceanographer participating in regular research cruises in oceanic waters to a marine environmental chemist leading research studies in coastal waters, then a blending of the two and the addition of contaminants in biota. I was a project leader for 20 of my 26 years in CSIRO. Latterly, my roles in AIMS and NAMRA have been at more senior levels of leadership, while still being active in research. My area of scientific expertise has consistently been as an environmental analytical chemist and biogeochemist providing high quality information and interpretation on the concentrations of trace elements, nutrients and contaminants (mostly inorganic forms) in natural, and occasionally waste-waters. I have also been relied upon to provide understanding of the behaviour of the same chemical species in marine ecosystems and their biological cycling - typically in interdisciplinary research studies.

1977: BSc (Hons), University of Melbourne

1982: PhD, University of Melbourne

Current Research Activities
I carry out investigations on marine waters with a focus on tropical systems. My areas of interest and expertise are the following:
  • biogeochemistry of nutrients and micro-nutrients, and trace elements in marine waters
  • redox chemistry in natural waters
  • chemical oceanography
  • estuarine chemistry
  • environmental pollutants
  • environmental analytical methods (ion chromatography and flow analysis, electrochemistry, ICP-MS)
  • underway and in situ instrumentation
  • automated environmental monitoring networks
Expert Committees and Boards
Marine National Facility - Scientific Advisory Committee
Australian Marine Sciences Association - National Council
Over 100 scientific papers, book chapters, technical reports and conference proceedings. Recent publications include:

Warnakulasooriya KN, Butler ECV, Gibb KS, Munksgaard NC (2017) Stable isotopes in biota reflect the graduated influence of sewage effluent along a tropical macro-tidal creek. Marine and Freshwater Research 69(10): 1855-1866

Purcell-Meyerink D, Fortune J, Butler ECV (2017) Primary productivity dominated by picoplankton in Darwin Harbour. New Zealand Journal of Botany 55:47-63

Sinoir M, Bowie AR, Mongin M, Butler ECV, Hassler CS (2016) Zinc requirement for two phytoplankton strains of the Tasman Sea. Marine and Freshwater Research 68(2): 361-372

Sinoir M, Ellwood MJ, Butler ECV, Bowie AR, Mongin M, Hassler CS (2016) Total dissolved zinc cycling in the Tasman Sea: distribution, speciation and relation to phytoplankton community. Marine Chemistry 182:25-37

Jones HJ, Swadling KM, Butler ECV, Barry L, Macleod CK (2014) Application of stable isotope mixing models for defining trophic biomagnification pathways of mercury and selenium. Limnology and Oceanography 59:1181-1192

Jones HJ, Swadling KM, Butler ECV, Macleod CK (2014) Complex patterns in fish - sediment mercury concentrations in a contaminated estuary: The influence of selenium co-contamination? Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 137:14-22

O'Sullivan JE, Watson RJ, Butler ECV (2013) An ICP-MS procedure to determine Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in oceanic waters using in-line flow-injection with solid-phase extraction for preconcentration. Talanta 115:999-1010

Hassler CS, Legiret F-E, Butler ECV (2013) Measurement of iron chemical speciation in seawater at 4°C: The use of competitive ligand exchange - adsorptive cathodic stripping voltammetry. Marine Chemistry 149:63-73

Butler ECV, O'Sullivan JE, Watson RJ, Bowie AR, Remenyi TA, Lannuzel D (2013) Trace metals Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, and Zn in waters of the subantarctic and Polar Frontal Zones south of Tasmania during the 'SAZ-Sense' project. Marine Chemistry 148:63-76

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