Western Sydney University Soil Biology Masterclass

Tue 15 & Wed 16 August 2023, 9am-5pm AEST

This two-day Masterclass incorporates the latest information on soil health and biology as well as management practices that help to sustainably increase crop productivity and profitability.

The course is run by the Global Centre for Land-Based Innovation (GCLBI) at Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) in tandem with Soil Science Australia.

What’s covered in the course?

The full two-day program will expand your understanding of how new research is driving renewed interest in soil health as a function of overall farm productivity. It includes a history of soil biology and agriculture as well as the latest information about:

  • soil diversity and the functions of soil microbes that drive productivity;
  • nutrient cycling of nitrogen, carbon and other nutrients;
  • plant and microbial interactions;
  • soil fauna that influence soil biology and activity; and
  • ways of integrating soil health methods into practice.
Western Sydney University Distinguished Professor Brajesh Singh at work. Credit: Western Sydney University

Who is presenting the course?

Course presenters include:

  • Professor Brajesh Singh (WSU), an internationally recognised expert in the field of microbial ecology whose research interests encompass functional microbial ecology, climate change and environmental biotechnology, with focus on the role of microbes in ecosystem function and environmental sustainability;
  • HIE microbial ecologist and ARC DECRA Fellow Dr  Eleonora Egidi;
  • Western Sydney University Associate Professor Uffe Nielsen, who is broadly interested in community and ecosystem ecology, and links between the two;
  • Dr Catriona Macdonald, who nvestigates the impacts of environmental change on nutrient cycling and resource allocation within terrestrial environments; and
  • guest presenter Stuart McAlpine, who runs a 5,000 ha mixed-farming enterprise in Buntine, in WA’s Northern Agricultural Region, growing cereal crops and raising sheep on a property with a wide mix of soil types.

For more details on course content and presenters, click here.

Who should attend?

According to GCLBI, ‘this is an ideal program for those seeking to understand the benefits of soil biology as a driver of healthy crops and healthy foods in sustainable production environments’ such as:

  • proactive and innovative growers across the horticultural and agricultural sectors; and
  • consultants, advisors and agronomists seeking to create new value from cropping operations.

Key details

The Masterclass runs over two days: Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 August 2023 from 9am-5pm both days.

The course takes place on site at Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Campus (room TBA), Bourke St entrance, Richmond NSW 2753. View on map.

More information and applications

For further information and details on applying for the Masterclass, click here.

About the GCLBI

The Global Centre for Land-Based Innovation was established in January 2015 to address food security, agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability issues at regional, national and global levels. The Global Centre transfers knowledge from leading scientific research into industrial practices and supports government policy decision-making.