Dr Ross Smith

Dr Ross Smith 

Areas of specialisation

  • Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Ecotoxicology
  • Aquatic Ecosystems (especially in the tropics)
  • Freshwater/marine community ecology
  • Water Quality 
  • Resource Industry Impacts


  • Bachelor of Science Honours (Class 1) Marine Biology/Zoology, James Cook University of North Queensland, 1979 - 1982 
  • PhD Zoology, JCUNQ, 1984 - 1988


  • Director of Hydrobiology group of companies (2001 - present)
  • Directory of R&D Environmental P/L (1996 - 2001)
  • Chief Scientist, Ok Tedi Mining Limited (PNG) (1994 - 1996)
  • Senior Scientist, BHP Engineering (1992 - 1994)
  • Senior Biologist, Ok Tedi Mining Limited (PNG) (1987 - 1992)

Ross has been the project director for all of Hydrobiology’s Projects with the CSG industry, including ecotoxicity testing of fracturing fluids, coal seam waters and flowback waters, baseline and EIS aquatic ecosystem studies of upstream and downstream developments of CSG projects, and assessments of the potential ecosystem impacts of releases of RO permeates of CSG produced waters including ecotoxicity testing of permeates. He has been Project Director for development of the National Guidance Document for Risk Assessment of Coal Seam Gas Chemicals for the Federal Dept. of the Environment. He has also worked widely on aquatic ecosystem risks of oil and gas developments in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the United States since 1992.


  • July 2016 - Present, Adjunct Fellow, Southern Cross University

Committees and Boards

  • Author and Invited expert, ANZECC/ARMCANZ Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality, 2010 - present 2nd Addition 
  • Rum Jungle Rehabilitation project team (consultant), 2012 - present 
  • President, Science and Technology Australia, 2013 - 2015
  • President, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Asia Pacific Geographic Unit 2014 - 2016
  • Vice President SETAC World Council 2016
  • Member SETAC Global Science Committee 2012 - 2016
  • NHMRC Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, member of author group for revision, 2010 - 2012


  • 24 peer-reviewed journal and book publications
  • Author of over 200 commercial and government reports