Dr Silvana Santomartino Founding Director and Acid Sulfate Soils specialist

Qualifications and Memberships

BEnvSc (Hons), PhD CPSS-CSAM

Registered Certified Professional Soil Scientist

Member of Soil Science Australia



Founding Director: Principal Geochemist

Silvana graduated from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Environmental Science prior to undertaking her PhD in the Treatment of Acidic and Metalliferous Drainage. A Certified Professional Soil Scientist with Contaminated Site Assessment and Management certification (CPSS-CSAM), Silvana spent several years in field and project management roles before establishing PSK in 2013. With over 20 years of research and consulting experience in environmental geochemistry, Silvana has developed expertise in designing sampling programs, data collection methodologies, health and safety protocol, field and laboratory analytical methods, and implementing practical site solutions in accordance with relevant legislation. She has also authored and co-authored a number of academic research papers published in peer reviewed journals.

Silvana has project managed a large range of investigation projects including Acid Sulfate Soils (ASS), Contaminated Land (including Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)), Land Resources Assessments, baseline soils quality and groundwater quality and has overseen the implementation of management plans at large scale development sites, providing technical expertise to engineering and on-site construction teams. She has been invited to act on Technical Advisory Groups for major projects and has also provided Contaminated Land Auditor Support Services in relation to ASS.

Silvana has an active interest in building a strong and collaborative soil science community through her work on various committees and through her former role as the President of Soil Science Australia.

In her spare time, she loves bushwalking, aviation flying and spending time with her family in Melbourne.

Notable Achievements / Acknowledgements

Winner – Women in Business Awards Australia “Business Achiever Award”2022

Finalist – Women in Business Awards Australia “Business Woman of the Year” 2022

Recipient of the LJH Teakle Award by the Federal Branch of Soil Science Austalia

Appointed Adjunct Industry Fellow at Griffith University in 2021.

Winner – Australasian Land and Groundwater Association (ALGA) 2020 Annual Industry Excellence Award for “Outstanding Contribution by an Individual”.

President of Soil Science Australia (Qld Branch) (2017-2018)

Former Secretary of Soil Science Australia (Qld Branch) (2011-2013)

Invited by Soil Science Australia (along with Henry Parsons) to prepare a response to new Draft State Planning Policy for ASS on their behalf

Guest lecturer in Acid Mine Drainage and Acid Sulfate Soils at Griffith University, Queensland in 2011

Recipient of La Trobe University Award – The Pauline Toner Award, 2004

Completed a PhD titled “A Laboratory Study of Limestone Dissolution and Fe Precipitation within Passive Treatment Systems”