Dr David Brautigan

Research Associate Earth Sciences

+61 8 8207 7492


After completing a PhD in Soil Chemistry at the University of Adelaide, David started employment with the South Australian Museum in 2012 and became involved with the South Australian Centre for Geothermal Energy Research in 2013. 


Position at Other Organisation

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Adelaide


Research Interests

David studies mineral replacement reactions in hydrothermal systems and associated changes in permeability.                              


Current Research Projects

David's current work is funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and is a collaboration between the South Australian Museum (led by Prof. Allan Pring) and the University of Adelaide’s School of Chemical Engineering (Drs Brian O’Neil, Yung Ngothai) and School of Petroleum  Engineering (Prof. Pavel Bedrikovetski). It involves characterisation of fluid-rock interactions in geothermal reservoirs. We study the way fluids in hydrothermal systems interact with mineral assemblages, changing their composition and permeability over time. We have built flow-through reactors to simulate real-world hydrothermal systems and are using the technology to: a) gain an understanding of how such systems evolve; and b) improve fluid flow rates in geothermal systems, with the aim of increasing the efficiency of geothermal energy generation.


Professional Associations

  •  Member, Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources
  • Member, South Australian Centre for Geothermal Energy Research



  • BSc (Hons),  School, of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Adelaide

  • PhD, School of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Adelaide


Community Engagement

Brautigan D., Etschmann, B., Pring, A., O'Neil, B., and Ngothai, Y. (2012). Use of in-situ flow-through reactors to study mineral replacement reactions and associated permeability changes in hydrothermal systems. Proceedings of the 2012 Australian Geothermal Energy Conference.




  1. Brautigan D. J., Rengasamy P., and Chittleborough D. J. (2012).  Aluminium speciation and phytotoxicity in alkaline soils. Plant and Soil 360 (1): 187–196.