Central Science Laboratory

Ashley Townsend

Ashley Townsend

Dr Ashley Townsend

Deputy Director CSL
Senior Research Fellow - ICP Facility
Honorary Associate (Chemistry)


Contact Details

Contact Campus Sandy Bay Campus
Building Chemistry Building
Room Reference Room 340 Level 3
Telephone +61 3 6226 7193
Fax +61 3 6226 2494
Email Ashley.Townsend@utas.edu.au

Dr Ashley Townsend is a Deputy Director of the CSL and Senior Research Fellow in the field of Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, overseeing the CSL’s High Resolution ICP-MS facility. This unit currently houses a Thermo Fisher ELEMENT 2 instrument supporting research projects in the environmental, clinical, chemical, geological and aquaculture areas; serving University and external users alike.

Research Activity

Ashley’s research interests have a strong environmental focus, and include developing monitoring procedures and analytical strategies for environmental assessment, the analysis of samples at low levels from local and other pristine wilderness areas, and the study of anthropogenically impacted regions.

He is the author/co-author of ~50 research articles, independent referee of more than 200 articles and theses, and is a member of a number of journal Editorial or Editorial Advisory Boards (including the Royal Society of Chemistry's Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry and Analytical Methods; and International Journal of Analytical Chemistry). Ashley has presented invited conference lectures in Japan (2008), China (2010 x 2) and Korea (2012) recently.

Ashley received a prestigious University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor’s Exceptional Performance Award in 2006, and is an Honorary Associate in the School of Chemistry.

Teaching Responsibilities

Ashley designed, implemented and coordinates the delivery of advanced training units for postgraduate researchers by CSL staff, presented as part of the UTAS Graduate Certificate in Research program. He is the Unit Co-ordinator for XGR504 “Advanced Analytical Methods – CSL” and for CSL involvement in XGR505 “Specialised Research Methods”. Ashley is the key contact for teaching matters within the CSL.


Ashley has held many senior positions with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the professional body of Chemists in Australia, both locally and nationally. These include periods as committee member-TAS Branch (1990-2000), Honorary Secretary-TAS Branch (1996-99), Honorary President-TAS Branch (1998-99), State Representative on Executive Council (1999-2000), inaugural Deputy Chair/SE representative-Board of Directors (2000-2003, following incorporation), and Chair-General Administration and Membership Committee (2003-2004). He is currently a member of the Membership Assessment Committee (2008-), and was a select member of the national "RACI Futures" group (2009-). His service has been recognised through the 2000 RACI Tasmanian Branch President's Award for "Service to the local Branch over many years", and the 2003 RACI National Citation for "Sustained and significant contributions to the administration and advancement of the RACI both at the state and national level". Ashley is a Fellow of both the RACI and RSC.

Ashley has and continues to serve on a number of senior University of Tasmania committees including Council (2000-01), North West Advisory Board (2002-05), Alumni Committee (2004-; Chair 2011-) and Academic Senate (2008-).

Selected Publications
  • Modern sampling and analytical methods for the determination of trace elements in marine particulate material using magnetic sector inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Andrew R. Bowie, Ashley T. Townsend, Delphine Lannuzel, Tomas A. Remenyi, and Pier van der Merwe, Analytica Chimica Acta 676 (2010) 15-27.
  • Multiple Pb sources in marine sediments near the Australian Antarctic Station, Casey. Ashley T Townsend and Ian Snape, Science of the Total Environment 389 (2008) 466-474.
  • Comparison of methods for the determination of total selenium in plasma by magnetic sector ICP-MS. Alison M Featherstone, Ashley T Townsend, Glenn A Jacobson and Gregory Peterson, Analytica Chimica Acta 512 (2004) 319-327.
  • The accurate analysis of the first row transition metals in water, urine, plant, tissue and rock samples by sector field ICP-MS. Ashley T Townsend Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 15 (2000) 307-314.
  • Determination of scandium, yttrium and rare earth elements by high resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Philip Robinson, Ashley T Townsend, Zongshou Yu and Carsten Munker, Geostandards Newsletter, The Journal of Geostandards and Geoanalysis 23 (1999) 31-46.

Full publication list