Delivering better crops and improving farming systems
The School of Agriculture, Food and Wine has a strong international reputation for research underpinning the breeding of crops, the management of soils, diseases and weeds and dryland farming systems agronomy.
Our experts are co-located with industry and government partners at the University's Waite and Roseworthy campuses, both of which are recognised as centres of excellence in agricultural science.
Waite campus is also the largest concentration of agricultural research expertise in the Southern Hemisphere.
Our research on sustainable agricultural systems focuses on crop production and agronomy and is particularly relevant to dryland agricultural systems in Australia and overseas. Our international research includes research on biofortification, agroforestry and extension.
Weed science research addresses integrated weed management, herbicide resistance, weed ecology and crop-weed interactions in agricultural systems.
Researcher Focus area Prof Jason Able Cereal frost management Dr Matthew Denton Managing legumes and nitrogen fixation in farming systems A/Prof Gurjeet Gill Crop ecology and tillage systems; weed ecology and management Dr Graham Lyons Agronomic biofortification and cereal salt tolerance A/Prof Glenn McDonald Crop physiology and plant nutrition Dr Ian Nuberg International agroforestry and extension Prof Christopher Preston Weed ecology and management; management of herbicide resistance
Research groups and centres
Waite Research Institute Research institute Supporting collaboration between the Waite precinct partners; driving research and building capacity for Australia's agriculture, food and wine sectors Legumes and nitrogen fixation Research group Publishes grower guides and resources for legume growers International agroforestry and extension systems group Research group Research focused in developing countries, largely supported by ACIAR Weed science research group Research group Research in the areas of integrated weed management, herbicide resistance, weed ecology and crop-weed interactions in agricultural systems
Entomology & plant pathology
Our research in entomology addresses the biology, behaviour, ecology of insects. We study insects that occur in a wide range of ecosystems, including pasture crops, vegetables, fruits, vineyards, greenhouse crops and natural ecosystems.
Key areas of interest are biological control of insects and weeds, integrated pest management, biosecurity, crop pollination and conservation and enhancement of ecosystem services delivered by insects. Our research considers beneficial parasitic wasps, predatory arthropods, crop pollinators and a wide range of pest organisms.
Our research in plant pathology addresses the biology, ecology, epidemiology and plant responses to attack and provides foundations for diagnosis, control and management of plant diseases, pests and parasites. We focus mainly on viticulture, broad-acre and horticultural systems, but also consider native vegetation and post-harvest damage to stored products.
Researcher Focus area Prof Amanda Able Plant-pathogen interactions Dr Jerome Buhl Insect collective behaviour; locust management; complex systems modelling Dr Bryan Coad Biomimetic materials for understanding plant-pathogen interactions Dr Katja Hogendoorn Pollination and pollinators Prof Michael Keller Insect behaviour; integrated pest management; biosecurity Dr Kelvin Khoo Plant resistance against parasitic nematodes Prof Eileen Scott Fungal and bacterial plant pathology Dr Maryam Yazdani Biological control of insect pests
Soils are complex media that support plant growth by supplying nutrients and water. They are critical for sustainability of agricultural and natural ecosystems.
By applying expertise in soil chemistry (fertilisers, contaminants, soil carbon), soil physics (soil structure and water availability) and soil biology (nutrient cycling, roots and rhizosphere, mycorrhizae), we conduct research that improves understanding of soil processes and functions, leading to improved methods for soil management.
Researcher Focus area Dr Ivan Andelkovic Environmental remediation, analytical chemistry A/Prof Timothy Cavagnaro Soil ecology Dr Rodrigo Coqui da Silva Soil fertility, fertilisers and plant nutrition Dr Fien Degryse Soil chemistry and plant nutrition Dr Ashlea Doolette Soil chemistry Dr Marijana Markovic Soil ecotoxicology Prof Petra Marschner Nutrient cycling Prof Michael McLaughlin Environmental chemistry & toxicology; fertilisers and plant nutrition Dr Luke Mosley Soil and water geochemistry; acid sulfate soils Dr Divina Navarro Soil and environmental chemistry A/Prof Ronald Smernik Carbon cycling; organic phosphorus; organic contaminants; biochar; NMR methods Dr Stephanie Watts-Williams Soil-plant-microbe interactions
Research groups and centres
Waite Research Institute Research institute Supporting collaboration between the Waite precinct partners; driving research and building capacity for Australia's agriculture, food and wine sectors Fertiliser Technology Research Centre Research centre The Centre manages and conducts experimental work under laboratory, glasshouse and field conditions to develop more effective fertiliser formulations to optimise their efficiency. Soil Ecology research group Research group Seeks to discover the impacts of environmental change and management on soil ecological processes. ARC Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation Research centre Provides leading knowledge, research and development capabilities and critical services to assist industry commercialise graphene research.
Biometry research involves development and application of statistical and computational methods for the design and analysis of experiments. This includes research in advanced experimental design and statistical modelling of comparative experiments conducted in controlled and field environments.
We have a strong focus on statistical genetics research including linkage map construction, whole genome QTL analysis and genome wide association studies (GWAS). We also focus on the computational aspects of digital agriculture including machine learning algorithms, high performance computing as well as user friendly online and mobile applications.