Photo of Mr Sean Forrester

Mr Sean Forrester: infrared spectroscopist, specialising in the examination of soils

Mr Sean Forrester's research areas include study of soil compositional chemistry and effects on soil contaminants using infrared and multivariate techniques.

  • 12 March 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011

Current activities

Mr Sean Forrester is a Research Officer in the Environmental Biogeochemistry program within CSIRO Land and Water.

Mr Forrester's research and commercial project work is in the areas of infrared spectroscopy and multivariate statistics as applied to soil and sediment samples.

Mr Forrester undertakes assessment of soil physicochemical properties using the above techniques and then investigates for the assessment and estimation of contaminant and fertility parameters in soils and sediments. 

He also conducts soil sampling for The Centre for Australian Forensic Soil Science (CAFSS).


Mr Forrester commenced his studies concurrently with civil engineering and environmental science at James Cook University, Australia, and then whilst working for Amdel Analytical Services, studied analytical chemistry also at James Cook University.  

Mr Sean Forrester's research includes the study of soil compositional chemistry.

He continued to work for the commercial industry upon moving to Adelaide, South Australia, before commencing work with the soil organic matter group in CSIRO in 2000, the Acid Sulfate Soils group, and then Environmental Biogeochemistry. 

In 2004 Mr Forrester set up and managed the infrared soil analysis laboratory at CSIRO Urrbrae for the Analytical Services Unit.


Mr Forrester has published 11 journal articles, 13 technical and consultancy reports, two book chapters, seven conference papers, and has been invited to give numerous talks to Australian and international audiences.

He has an Australian provisional patent lodged (06/2009) for a new method of detecting contaminants in soils and sediments, and US provisional patent lodged (10/2009) related to this.

Mr Forrester helped set up the first dedicated infrared soil analysis laboratory in Australia and has assisted with the setup of this capability in other research and commercial laboratories around Australia.

Professional activities

Mr Forrester is a member of the:

  • Australian Society of Soil Science Inc (ASSSI)
  • International Union of Soil Science (IUSS).

Find out more about CSIRO Land and Water.