Soil and Landscape Science

Soil and Landscape Science

We conduct theoretical, methodological and applied research to improve understanding of soil processes and the drivers of soil and landscape variability at different spatial and temporal scales. Our research aims to better understand, assess and monitor soil functions, which help to deliver ecosystem services that enable life on Earth.


News and latest activity

  • We have an exciting opportunity for a Research Fellow with expertise in computational soil biogeochemistry to join the team – details here.
  • New publication – Distinct controls over the temporal dynamics of soil carbon fractions after land use change by Luo, Viscarra Rossel & Shi, Global Change Biology – access the paper here.
  • New publication – Soil carbon simulation confounded by different pool initialisation by Lee & Viscarra Rossel, 2019, Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems – access the paper here.
  • Best paper award –The Pedometrics Commission of the International Union of Soil Science has awarded the best paper in pedometrics 2018 to
    T. Behrens, K. Schmidt, R.A. MacMillan, R.A. Viscarra Rossel for the paper titled ‘Multi-scale digital soil mapping with deep learning’, published in the journal Scientific Reports 8: 15244 – access the paper here.
  • New publication – Continental-scale soil carbon composition and vulnerability modulated by regional environmental controls by Viscarra Rossel, Lee, Behrens, Luo et al, 2019, Nature Geoscience – access the paper here.

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Current research

  • Soil carbon science
  • Integrated accounting and monitoring of soil and landscape functions
  • Proximal sensing of soil properties that affect soil health and condition
  • Soil-landscape modelling and digital soil mapping
  • Improved representation of soil carbon and nutrient cycling in simulation models
  • Impacts of global change on soil carbon capture and storage
  • Global soil spectroscopy


*Wordcloud created from the abstracts of the most recent publications from the group.

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Our people

 

Professor Raphael Viscarra Rossel

Professor Raphael Viscarra Rossel

Raphael is a soil scientist who’s work helps to better understand and predict how soil functions respond to climate and anthropogenic change. He’s particularly interested in carbon sequestration, the preservation of biodiversity, nutrient cycling and food production. He develops new methods for measuring, mapping and monitoring soil, and uses empirical and mechanistic models for prediction at relevant spatial and temporal scales. After 11 years at CSIRO, Raphael moved to Curtin in 2019 to create new research capacity in soil and landscape science.

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Zefang Shen

Dr Zefang Shen

Zefang’s research so far has focused on the development of exoskeletons for lower limb and finger rehabilitation, and new methods for energy efficient human locomotion. Zefang’s interests extend to the development of efficient systems for environmental assessment.

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Students

Mervin (Pogs) Manalili

Mervin (Pogs) Manalili

Pogs’ PhD research will contribute to improving our understanding of the nature, composition, and dynamics of soil organic carbon. Pogs has a background in soil science and land and water resources engineering. He has collated about 10 years of agricultural research experience in agronomy, crop physiology, soil physics, and soil-water management aspects of tropical rice-based cropping systems at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

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Visiting and past researchers

Dr Juhwan Lee

Juhwan’s research focuses on the effects of climate and land use change on soil carbon and nitrogen cycling. His general approach is to use empirical and biogeochemical modelling to predict the complex interactions between soil, plants, carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions in agroecological systems across different spatial and temporal scales.

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Dr Yuanyuan Yang

Yuanyuan Yang’s research focuses on developing a better understanding of the geographic distribution of soil microbial communities and their role in biogeochemical cycles. Her interest also extend to developing machine learning models with spectroscopy, remote sensing and digital maps to predict and map the distribution of soil microbial communities.

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Mr Vitor da Silveira Freitas

Vitor’s PhD research focuses on the evaluation of near and mid-infrared spectroscopy, laser induced fluorescence (LIF) and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for the quantification of soil properties with relation to crop productivity. His interest extend to the quantification of soil organic matter quality, and spectroscopic modelling to predict soil physical and chemical properties. His visit is part of a collaboration between Curtin’s Soil and Landscape Science Group with the University of Sao Paulo (IQSC) / Embrapa Instrumentation.

Dr Lu Xu

Lu is a lecturer at Jiangsu Normal University in Xuzhou province, China. His expertise is in the application of remote sensing and geographic information systems in soil science, and ecology. His research focuses on the retrieval of soil information from spectra and digital images to predict soil degradation processes such as salinisation.

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Research opportunities

We have an exciting opportunity for a Research Fellow with expertise in computational soil biogeochemistry to join the team. The applicant will need to have worked with numerical models of soil organic matter decomposition and be highly interested in evaluating and improving them by combining emerging theories, new measurements and methods. The applicant should be passionate about research and development of testable new mechanistic hypotheses to explain soil organic carbon dynamics at different scales. The successful applicant will work in a collegial and supportive team. For more information on the position and the selection criteria see here.

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Collaborators

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