A team of voluntary individuals and organisations oversee the Soil C Quest project.

THE MANAGEMENT TEAM

GUY R WEBB B.SC. (REM), EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Guy has a background in broad-acre farming and has held a deep and ongoing professional interest in developing methods of improving soil fertility in broad-acre cropping. Currently a practicing commercial agronomist for AgriWest CRT and a fertiliser technology developer for GAIA 2112, Guy has been researching and pursuing practical and adoptable technologies that may enable farmers to rapidly and securely build soil carbon in conventional farming systems for a number of years.

MARK SHORTIS,       SECRETARY

Mark is a long-term advocate of the importance of soil health in underpinning the sustainability of agriculture and maintaining a stable society. His connection with the land had its foundation in a rural upbringing. As a primary producer situated in the South-West slopes region of NSW, he is currently rehabilitating degraded country using remineralisation, biological amendments and Holistic Management principles.

MICHAEL WETTENHALL,       TREASURER

Michael is an experienced grazier and grains and cotton farmer on the Macquarie River near Trangie. A skilled farming practitioner and an early adopter of innovative farming techniques, Mick marries improved farming economics with improved soil fertility and farming sustainability. He is a passionate believer that agriculture has a major role to play not only in food security but also in sustainable environmental management and climate change mitigation. Michael brings invaluable practical on-the-ground experience and a common sense perspective to the project.

ADRIANNA MARCHAND, SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT & PROJECT ENABLER

Adrianna is a soil professional with a background in soil science, systems theory and ecophilosophy.   Adrianna is working and specialising within research and farming sectors, and has worked extensively with complex methodologies in a number of Australian states. Adrianna has worked in state government, university and private sectors. She brings to the project a synthesis of applied knowledge.  When not in the paddock, Adrianna finds ways to educate others about soil health, best soil sampling practice, innovation and current research.

MARG APPLEBEE, MEDIA SUPPORT & PROJECT ENABLER

Marg has worked as Coordinator for Central West Lachlan Landcare (CWLL) for two years and has worked for Landcare since 2011. Marg is passionate about enabling and empowering local projects to make a difference on a regional scale, and in turn contribute to the bigger picture. CWLL are proud to support Soil C Quest and are part of a broader Landcare network that are involved in productive partnerships to enable improved land management practices and promote positive change in our environment.

THE SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR PETER MCGEE, CONSULTING MYCOLOGIST

Associate Professor Peter McGee holds an honorary appointment to the School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney. He retired at the end of 2013 after completing more than 30 years studying soil biology. He and his team researched mechanisms underpinning the sustainable use of soil, and their importance in restoration of soil function. In recent years the team has developed mechanistic models of soil carbon sequestration and have published more than 70 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals. His research has been supported by rural research bodies, government sources of research funding and commercial entities. He has also encouraged the commercial development of appropriate technologies including inoculums for sustainable agriculture.

DR THOMAS TENDO MUKASA MUGERWA (PhD, MSc, BSc Hons)

Tendo is a soil microbial ecologist whose primary interest lies in the beneficial associations that root-associated microbes form with crops and whether such benefits can extend to the surrounding soil. He has over ten years experience conducting research on various projects investigating the benefits of applying microbial inoculums to soils and has done so at a number of leading institutions including Rhodes University, The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and The University of Sydney. Tendo completed his PhD at The University of Sydney, investigating the ability of a wide-variety of fungal isolates to enhance levels of soil carbon. Tendo currently conducts research at The University of Sydney node of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis researching photosynthesis, with the aim of increasing crop yield to address global food shortages.

GREG REID M.SC., DIP ED, CERT. CARBON MANAGEMENT, CERT. ADV. CLIMATOLOGY

Greg worked for many years with the NSW Dept of Agriculture as an extension specialist on soils, property planning, carbon and climate change. Greg has extensive experience talking to farmers throughout NSW about soil management particularly in relation to carbon management and climate change adaptation. He has practical expertise in field sampling, trials and carbon estimation. Greg is now a freelance advisor and speaker for farmer organisations and Landcare groups.

DR ASHLEY MARTIN, PHD, BSC (FOR) HONS – CIAAF & MICROBIOLOGICAL LABORATORIES AUSTRALIA

Dr Martin PhD, BSc(For)Hons is currently the Business Manager and Senior Partner of Creation Innovation Agriculture & Forestry (CIAAF) & Microbiological Laboratories Australia (Microbe Labs), and sometimes Research Fellow at Monash University, Melbourne depending on major project funding. CIAAF has current links to The University Adelaide, Central Queensland University and government departments in various States.

CIAAF and Microbe Labs are committed to proven, scientific, research-based technology to allow customers to make informed decisions agriculture and natural resource management.

DR MARIA MANJARREZ, PHD, MSC, BSC (FOR) HONS – CIAAF & MICROBE LABORATORIES AUSTRALIA

Dr Manjarrez-Martinez PhD, MSc, BSc is currently the Research and Analytical Services Manager and Senior Partner of CIAAF and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide. CIAAF has current links to The University Adelaide, Central Queensland University and government departments in various States.

Maria is committed to bringing proven, scientific, research-based technology to our customers in a clear, concise, no-nonsense manner to help them make informed decisions. 

DR CHRIS ANDERSON

Chris completed First Class Honors in Biology (Mycology) at the University of Sydney in 2003. Since then, Chris has worked as a plant pathologist in cotton at Narrabri. Chris’s research has covered a range of diseases affecting cotton including Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt, black root rot, and seedling diseases. Chris has also investigated the role of root colonising nematodes in cotton in Australia. In his short time as a researcher, Chris has written several scientific papers and numerous posters and extension articles.  Chris’s research interests include mycology, fungal ecology and interactions between plants, insects and fungi, taxonomy and phylogeography of Rhizoctonia solani, Nematology, and more recently melanised endophytic fungi and their potential to increase soil carbon in cropping systems, and in particular bio-prospecting new and useful strains.

DR CHANDRA IYER M.SC; M.APP.SC; PH.D

Chandra is the founder and Managing Director of Green Microbes Australia. Chandra is a microbiologist who has been working on the application of beneficial microbes in various fields such as agriculture, the environment, human and animal health for the past ten years. Chandra has worked in some leading Universities and research institutes including University of Western Sydney (Hawkesbury Agricultural College), Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The University of New South Wales.

Chandra has published his research findings in various scientific journals and presented his work at numerous national and international conferences. Chandra has won prestigious awards from organizations such as The Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology and the Dairy Industry Association of Australia. He is also a member of The Australian Society of Microbiology.