Organic Research Group

Sheep grazing under kiwifruit vines

Sheep are grazed under kiwifuit vines at Tom Hackett's farm "Kiwi Down Under" located at Bonville, near Coffs Harbour, NSW.

A number of organic research and industry development activities are underway at UNE. Several staff and students have considerable experience and knowledge in organic agriculture, and have strong industry links developed over the past decade. UNE is expanding on it's current organic work on several fronts along the supply chain: from farming inputs and on-farm production constraints, through to consumer and marketing issues, as well as the social and environmental impacts of organics. This site profiles some of the people involved and the exciting initiatives taking place.


ORG draws on experience and skills in a wide range of areas including:

  • agricultural production
  • marketing and supply chain development
  • economic and legal analysis
  • education and training
  • consumer interests
Our People


Current Projects
  • Measuring the efficacy of biofertilisers on lettuce growth - Barun Gurung (BAg candidate)
  • Sustainability of biodynamic and organic cattle production in Northern NSW - Lorraine Gordon (PhD candidate)
  • Agroforestry extension for ethnic minority groups in Yen Bai Province, Vietnam - Nong Thuy Linh (MNatRes candidate)
  • Effect of rice husk bio-char, agri-waste, and zeolite on sandy soils in Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam - Phan Quoc Dung (MScAg candidate)
  • The impacts of mixed waste organic outputs on NSW soils - Sara Bayat (PhD candidate)
  • Links between data collection and policy develop for emerging industries - a case study of the Australian organic industry - Alexandra Mitchell (PhD candidate)
  • Nutrient management in small-holder rice farms in Myanmar - Hla Myo Thwe (PhD candidate)
  • Effect of tree-lots in pastoral landscapes on soil nematode abundance and diversity- Christine Fyfe (PhD candidate)
Completed Projects
  • Conventions in cross-border trade coordination the case of organic food imports to Germany and Australia - Amelie Bernzen (University of Cologne) (PhD completed 2013)
  • Canopy management in macadamias - Lisa McFadyen (PhD completed 2013)
  • Effect of management (tillage and organic matter) on soil carbon cycling in vegetable production - Yadunath Bajgai (PhD completed 2013)
  • Plant root contributions to carbon sequestration on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia - Giregon Olupot (PhD completed 2013)
  • Effect of seaweed on plant growth and development: mechanisms affecting plant responses - Ramal Yusuf (ProfD completed 2013)
  • Review of the weed risk assessment system of Australia and it's potential application in Vietnam - Nguyen Thi Thu Huong (MScAg completed 2013)
  • Measuring the efficacy of biofertilisers based on paper waste (consultancy project completed 2013)
  • Economic analysis of alternative vegetable farming systems in northern Thailand - Prathanthip Kramol (PhD completed 2012)
  • Effects of biochar and zeolite on green roof substrate properties and plant water availability - Cao Thi Ngoc Cuong (University of Melbourne) (MUrbanHort completed 2010)
  • Tillage practices for weed control in sunflower and maize - Keotshephile Kashe (PhD completed 2010)
  • Effects of compost tea on early vigour of lettuce - Jane Morrissey (MScAg completed 2010)
  • Drought tolerance of sorghum varieties - Giridhar Kandalam (Endeavour post-doctoral fellowship completed 2009)
  • Microbiological and molecular factors involved in the interaction of disease suppressive bacteria Pantoea, Exiguobacterium and Microbacterium with wheat - Amar Nath Pandey (PhD completed 2009)
  • Efficacy of steam weeding in vegetable production - UNE, Organic Knowledge (consultancy completed 2008)
  • Australian Organic Marketing Report - UNE, BFA, Organic Knowledge (consultancy completed 2008)
  • Marketing organic products - Joanna Henryks (PhD completed 2009)
  • Biofertiliser efficacy trials - Van Toan Nguyen (MScAg completed 2008)
  • Ecophysiology and management of Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta) - Dalvinder Singh (PhD candidate 2008)
  • Soil fertility in organic vegetable production - Gunasekhar Nachimuthu (PhD completed 2007)
  • Effect of organic inputs on soil pathogens - Dalvinder Singh (PhD candidate 2007)
  • Organic viticulture: economics and agronomics of conversion - Tony Hassall (MScAg completed 2007)
  • 'Clean, green and humane' lamb production: farmer & consumer dialogue - Sherryl Broderick (MSc candidate)
  • Effect of organic amendments on soil quality and profitability in cotton farming systems - Subhadip Ghosh (PhD candidate 2007)
  • Brassica cover crops: allelopathy or resource competition?/Organic acid production by cover crops - Daniele Cerrai, 6 month internship, PhD candidate at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy (Internship completed 2005)
  • LEAFSE International exchange program (Project completed 2004-05)
  • Mechanisms and modes of action of weed interference in soybean (Glycine max) at the physiological, biochemical and cellular levels - Irawati Chaniago (PhD completed 2004)
  • The effect of night sowing on the emergence patterns and competitive impact of weeds on buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) - David Van Ryswick (BRurSc Honours completed 2004)
  • Sustainable Weed Management in Organic Herb and Vegetable Production - Paul Kristiansen (PhD completed 2003)


Journal and conference papers, book chapters, and research reports.

Find out more


Organic organisations and certifiers
Overseas links
  • IFOAM Capacity Building - free access to a broad range of high quality training materials on Organic Agriculture, announcements of organic training opportunities worldwide and contacts with institutions offering training in Organic Agriculture

Avi Danon Upper Thora

Organic herb and vegetable grower, Avi Danon of Upper Thora (near Bellingen, NSW), shows Dr Paul Kristiansen his rich soil.


If you would like more information about the Organic Research Group, please contact:

Dr Paul Kristiansen
Phone: +61 2 6773 2962