Soil is the foundation for food production. It is a vital engine for socio-economic, environmental and population health.
Soil degradation is an ongoing threat to global food security. Australian farmers must manage their soil to meet the national and global demand for food both now and into the future, to continue as net exporters of food and fibre, and to ensure sustainable soil productivity.
The Soils and the Environment Research Group seeks to understand the impacts of agricultural management on soil processes and develop technology to improve agricultural sustainability. We carry out a range of fundamental and applied research with the aim to help policy makers, industry partners and farmers make evidence-based decisions. Our research areas include:
- Synchronisation of nutrients and water resources. This includes our work on greenhouse gas emission monitoring and mitigation, nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency, soil-plant-atmosphere process modelling, high efficiency fertilizers, remote sensing and precision agriculture technologies.
- Recovery of resources from wastes. This includes our work on recycling of urban food waste and agricultural waste.
- Fundamental and applied soil ecology. This includes understanding microbial community structure- function relationships, antimicrobial resistance in the environment, and suppression of soil-borne diseases.
- Agricultural economics, agricultural sustainability indicators and food credentials. This includes nitrogen assessment and nitrogen footprint.
- Plant health and pathology
The Group partners with other institutions in research in various joint research Centres:
- Australia-China Joint Research Centre – Healthy soils for sustainable food production and environmental quality
We are based at the University of Melbourne's Parkville and Dookie campus.
Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Building 142, Royal Parade
Parkville 3010, Victoria, Australia