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.

The research that we do can help to:

  • create sustainable landscapes and ecosystems
  • ensure sustainable food, fibre, water and energy production
  • better understand soil carbon and nutrient cycling under climate and land management change
  • monitor and verify soil carbon sequestration
  • improve and rehabilitate degraded land
  • rehabilitate contaminated soil
  • mitigate climate change.

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Latest activity

  • Welcome Dr Andre Carnieletto Dotto – Andre has joined our group to develop methods for monitoring soil – see here.
  • Welcome Dr Zefang Shen – Zefang has joined our group to work on the development of soil sensing systems – see 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

  • Integrated methods for the accounting and monitoring of soil and landscape functions
  • Soil-landscape modelling and digital soil mapping
  • Proximal sensing for cost-efficient assessment of soil properties that affect soil health and its condition
  • Improved representation of soil carbon and nutrient cycling in simulation models
  • Impact of climate and land management change on soil carbon capture and storage
  • Global soil spectroscopy

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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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Dr Juhwan Lee – Senior Research Fellow

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. Juhwan joined Curtin in 2019 after time at CSIRO.

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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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Andre Carnieletto Dotto

Dr Andre Carnieletto Dotto

Andre’s research focuses on the development of quantitative methods for monitoring soil properties and soil condition at different scales. His expertise is in soil spectroscopy, proximal and remote sensing, multivariate modelling and estimation. His interests extend to soil classification, soil survey, geographic information systems and digital soil mapping. Andre joined Curtin in September 2019 after a visiting research period with Professor Viscarra Rossel in 2018.

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Visiting researchers

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 welcome students and visitors from all over the world to our research group.

Please check again for other opportunities or contact Prof. Viscarra Rossel on +61 467 769 364, email r.viscarra-rossel@curtin.edu.au.

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Collaborators

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