Root zone processes

How can soil root zone processes be optimised to enhance resource condition and use?

The rhizosphere surrounding plant roots sustains all terrestrial life. This is a complex and hidden system that requires multi-disciplinary research strategies to uncover its secrets. Within this research sub-theme, we study the relationships between root architecture, water uptake, nutrient and carbon distribution, and key physical, chemical and biological processes in the root zone and their optimisation for enhanced plant productivity, resource condition and use.

The advanced techniques we bring to bear on these challenges include real time 3D tomography of root architecture, soil structure and changes in biological communities; isotope tracking of carbon and other important plant nutrients; and soil biophysical measurements of root distribution and growth.

Research Groups

Our People

Richard FlavelDr Richard Flavel

  • crop agronomy and plant nutrition
  • root system architecture
  • soil-plant interactions (physics and chemistry)
  • x-ray computed tomography, X-ray fluorescence

Chris GuppyA/Professor Chris Guppy

  • plant-soil interactions in the rhizosphere
  • role of organic matter in nutrient cycling
  • soil solution chemistry and plant nutrition
  • whole farm systems research

Oliver KnoxDr Oliver Knox

  • plant/microbial interactions
  • nematology
  • GM plants
  • bulky organic fertilisers
  • phosphorus and soil science

Lisa Lobry de BruynDr Lisa Lobry de Bruyn

  • plant, soil and environment systems

Sheikh Mohammad Fazle RabbiDr Sheikh Mohammad Fazle Rabbi

  • plant root architecture
  • nutrient uptake by plants
  • x-ray microtomography

Matthew TigheDr Matthew Tighe

  • soil chemistry, particularly the fate and behaviour of nutrients and trace elements
  • soil health and landscape ecology
  • probability based environmental modelling

Brian WilsonA/Professor Brian Wilson

  • Plant:soil interactions
  • Soil carbon/soil organic matter distribution and cycling
  • Management effects on soil carbon and soil condition
  • Measurement and estimation of soil carbon
  • Soil organic matter dynamics in native and restored systems
  • Organic amendments and soil condition

Susan WilsonDr Susan Wilson

  • environmental chemistry, analysis and monitoring
  • biogeochemical cycling of contaminants in soil systems
  • food chain contaminant transfers
  • ecotoxicity and impacts of contaminants
  • exposure and risk assessment
  • remediation and rehabilitation of polluted systems

Iain YoungProfessor Iain Young

  • soil biophysics
  • soil-plant-microbe interactions