The Soil Ecology Research Group is on Twitter! Follow us: @IDigSoil

The Soil Ecology Research Group seeks to discover the impacts of environmental change and management on soil ecological processes. A key theme in our research is undertaking high quality fundamental and applied research that can be used by policy makers to make informed decisions. Our research focuses on:

  • Fundamental soil ecology: linking microbial diversity to ecosystem function. This includes our work on molecular ecology and the role of microbes in releasing nutrients from organic matter.
  • The role of soil microbes in making available, and delivering nutrients, to plants. This includes our work on mycorrhizas.

Research outcomes are used to address issues of national and international significance. Spanning the science-policy interface is therefore an important theme in our research.

Current Projects

Vineyard floor management

Cover crops have long been grown between rows of vines; however, recent attention has shifted to growing cover crops in the under-vine zone. In this Wine Australia funded project, we have been investigating the impacts of under-vine cover crops on vine performance, soil health, soil carbon stocks, vineyard resilience, etc. You can learn more about this research here:

Cover crops under-vine:

Cover crops and Carbon:

Urban Agriculture

With half of the world’s population now living in cities, a number projected to increase to 68% by 2050. as people move to the cities they become increasingly disconnected from their food, both geographically and conceptually. The practice of cultivating and producing food in towns and cities — Urban Agriculture — can make a significant contribution to food supply, in a way that minimises environmental impact and maximises nutritional benefit. Urban Agriculture has been flagged as a key strategy for global food security. It was also identified as a strategy for advancing food and nutrition security in response to COVID-19. As in most farming systems, safe and healthy soil is the cornerstone of sustainable, efficient production, but relatively little is known about the status of Urban Agriculture soils and how to manage them. We are under taking research to address these knowledge gaps.

Check out a recent interview on Urban Agriculture appearing in Cosmos.

Visit our publications page for examples of our recent work.

You can also learn more about this research here:

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