Portrait of David Whitford, Deputy Chief (Research) CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering.

David Whitford is Deputy Chief (Research) at CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering.

Dr Dave Whitford: supporting Australia’s minerals and energy industries

Dr Dave Whitford manages the development and maintenance of CSIRO’s research and development capabilities in geoscience and geo-engineering.

  • 3 March 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Publishing History

Overview

Page 1 of 2

Current activities

Dr Whitford is currently Deputy Chief (Research) for the division of CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering.

He has oversight of the Division’s research capabilities in:

  • mineral systems science
  • mining science and engineering
  • petroleum geoscience
  • petroleum engineering.

Background

Dr Whitford has a varied history in geochemical research, particularly in the practical application of trace element and isotope geochemistry.

His early research focused on the petrology and geochemistry of recent island arc volcanic rocks, mostly from Indonesia, directed at developing a better understanding of the geochemical consequences of subduction.

After postdoctoral fellowships in the USA at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and in Canada at the University of British Columbia, he joined CSIRO in 1980 with research focused on the application of trace element and isotope geochemistry to mineral exploration. 

He worked extensively on understanding the chemistry of fluid-rock interaction as a basis for the application of lithogeochemistry to exploration for volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposits. 

Dr Whitford joined CSIRO in 1980 with research focused on the application of trace element and isotope geochemistry to mineral exploration.

He was also involved with research on using groundwaters as an exploration medium for mineral exploration.

In 1993 Dr Whitford joined the newly formed CSIRO Division of Petroleum Resources, leading a research group on the application of trace element and isotope geochemistry to sedimentary rocks focused mainly on improving the understanding of the timing of basin evolution in order to reduce exploration risk. 

His research interests have ranged from studies of sedimentary provenance to sedimentation ages, with a focus on chemostratigraphy and diagenetic histories. 

His research group has made major contributions to the practical application of strontium isotope chronostratigraphy to the tertiary carbonates of Papua New Guinea and South-East Asia.

He has also worked on some of the geochemical manifestations of faunal extinction events in the geological record.

Dr Whitford was previously Deputy Chief of CSIRO Petroleum Resources before it merged with CSIRO Exploration and Mining in 2009 to create the division of Earth Science and Resource Engineering.

Academic qualifications

Dr Whitford was awarded a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours from the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, in 1972.

He went on to complete a Doctor of Philosophy in Geochemistry from the Australian National University in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory in 1976 with a thesis entitled Petrology and geochemistry of Volcanic Rocks from the Sunda Arc, Indonesia

He has also undertaken the Senior Management Development Program at the Australian Graduate School of Management in 2002 and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Achievements

Dr Whitford has published more than 65 referred publications and more than 150 confidential reports.

He is a member of:

• Geological Society of Australia Inc
• American Geophysical Union
• Associate: Macquarie University Centre for Ecostratigraphy and Palaeobiology
• Graduate: Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Read more about Capitalising on Australia’s natural gas resources.