Dr Oliver Knox

Senior Lecturer , cotton - School of Environmental and Rural Science

Oliver Knox

Phone: +61 2 6773 2946

Email: oknox@une.edu.au

Twitter: @@CottonHubUNE


I am originally from Scotland and have degrees from the University of Aberdeen in Genetics and Plant and Soil Sciences. I worked in Australia in the cotton industry from 2003 to 2008 before returning to Scotland to take up a teaching and research post working mainly on bulky organic fertilisers in various agricultural systems. I came to Armidale in 2014 to take up a post co-funded by the Cotton RDC and am the co-ordinator of the Cotton Hub at UNE, which seeks to deliver cross disciplinary work on the issues affecting production of sustainable cotton.

My interests are in cropping systems and how the plant, abiotic and biotic soil components interact. These interests have resulted in me having a relatively broad interest in areas from farm management to the microscopic life of our soils and anything that helps to pull these together.


BSc (Hons), PhD

Teaching Areas

Soil, soil biology, nematology and microbiology. Cotton production, sustainability and protection. Agricultural systems

Primary Research Area/s

Soil microbiology; Soil fertility; Cotton Agronomy

Research Interests

  • Plant/microbial interactions,
  • Nematology,
  • GM plants,
  • Bulky organic fertilisers,
  • Phosphorus and soil science.

Cotton Hub at UNE

Research Supervision Experience

I have overseen several honors, over 30 taught masters thesis and have two PhD completions to date.


Peer Reviewed Papers

Rabbi SMF, Tighe MK, Knox O, Young IM (2018). The impact of carbon addition on the organisation of rhizosheath of chickpea. Scientific Reports, 8, 18028.

Polain, K.; Guppy, C.; Knox, O.; Lisle, L.; Wilson, B.; Osanai, Y.; Siebers, N., Determination of Agricultural Impact on Soil Microbial Activity Using δ18OP HCl and Respiration Experiments. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 2018, 2 (7), 683-691.

Eskandari, S.; Guppy, C. N.; Knox, O. G. G.; Backhouse, D.; Haling, R. E., Understanding the impact of soil sodicity on mycorrhizal symbiosis: Some facts and gaps identified from cotton systems. Applied Soil Ecology 2018, 126, 199-201.

Knox, O. G. G.; Weitz, H. J.; Anderson, P.; Borlinghaus, M.; Fountaine, J., Improved screening of biochar compounds for potential toxic activity with microbial biosensors. Environmental Technology & Innovation 2018, 9, 254-264.

Eskandari, S.; Guppy, C. N.; Knox, O. G. G.; Flavel, R. J.; Backhouse, D.; Haling, R. E., Mycorrhizal contribution to phosphorus nutrition of cotton in low and highly sodic soils using dual isotope labelling (32P and 33P). Soil Biology and Biochemistry 2017, 105, 37-44.

Eskandari, S.; Guppy, C. N.; Knox, O. G. G.; Backhouse, D.; Haling, R. E., Mycorrhizal colonisation of cotton in soils differing in sodicity. Pedobiologia 2017, 61, 25-32.

Eskandari, S.; Guppy, C. N.; Knox, O. G.; Flavel, R. J.; Backhouse, D.; Haling, R. E., Mycorrhizal contribution to phosphorus nutrition of cotton in low and highly sodic soils using dual isotope labelling (32 P and 33 P). Soil Biology and Biochemistry 2017, 105, 37-44.

Eskandari, S.; Guppy, C. N.; Knox, O. G.; Backhouse, D.; Haling, R. E., Mycorrhizal colonisation of cotton in soils differing in sodicity. Pedobiologia 2017, 61, 25-32.

Knox, O. and B. Griffiths (2017). Refinement of Passive Nematode Recovery from Cotton Growing High Clay Content Australian Vertisols. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 48(3): 316-325.

Smoucha, EA, Fitzpatrick, K, Buckingham, S, Knox, OG (2016) Life Cycle Analysis of the Embodied Carbon Emissions from 14 Wind Turbines with Rated Powers between 50 Kw and 3.4 Mw. Journal of Fundamentals of Renewable Energy and Applications

Eskandari, S., C. N. Guppy, et al. (2016). Improving mycorrhizal colonisation of cotton in sodic soils. Rhizosphere. 2: 48-50.

Knox, O, Oghoro, C, Burnett, F, Fountaine, J (2015) Biochar increases soil pH, but is as ineffective as liming at controlling clubroot. Journal of Plant Pathology. 97(2) 149-152.

Knox, O, Marsden, T, Warnick, S, Birch, G, Scherbatskoy, M, Wilson, D, Harvie, B (2015) Improved sustainability and ecosystem services from seaweed additions to an old agricultural production system. Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences

Roseanne McDonald and Oliver G. G. Knox (2014) Cold Region Bioremediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils: Do We Know Enough? Environmental Science & Technology. 48 (17), 9980-9981.

O.G.G. Knox, O.N. Achara, J. Parker, R. Alegria, R.L. Walker, A.C. Edwards and C.A. Watson (2013) Investigating the use of silage effluent to improve available Phosphorus from Gafsa phosphate rock. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 45(3):332-346.

Oliver G G Knox, Vadakattu V S R Gupta and Richard Lardner (2014) Field evaluation of the effects of cotton variety and GM status on rhizosphere microbial diversity and function in Australian soils. Soil Research 53:203-215.

Oliver Knox, Clare Hall, Alistair McVittie, Robin Walker and Bruce Knight (2013) A systematic review of the environmental impacts of GM crop cultivation as reported from 2006 to 2011. Food and Nutrition Sciences 4:28-44.

Hall, C., Knight, B., Ringrose, S. & Knox, O. (2013). What have been the farm-level economic impacts of the global cultivation of GM crops? CEE Review 11-002 Collaboration for Environmental Evidence: www.environmentalevidence.org/S R11002.html

Oliver G. G. Knox, Martin J. McHugha, James M. Fountaine, Neil D. Havis (2013) Effects of microwaves on fungal pathogens of wheat seed. Crop Protection 50:12-16.

Knox,O.G.G., R.L.Walker, E.J.Booth, C.Hall, A.N.Crossan, and V.V.S.R.Gupta. (2012) Capitalizing on deliberate, accidental, and GM-driven environmental change caused by crop modification. Journal of Experimental Botany. 63:543-549.

Akhtar Ahmed Siddiqui, Mehtab Siddiqui and Oliver Knox (2012) Assessing the Impact of Integrated Pest Management Farmer Field Schools (IPM-FFSs) on Acquisition of Farmers' Knowledge Regarding Use of Pesticide, Nutrient Management and Confidence in Decision Making Process Pakistan Journal of Life and Social Sciences 10(2):150-155.

Walker,R.L., A.C.Edwards, P.Maskell, C.A.Watson, R.M.Rees, O.G.G.Knox, and E.A.Stockdale. (2012) The effect of co-composted cabbage and ground phosphate rock on the early growth and P uptake of oilseed rape and perennial ryegrass. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. 175 (4):595-603.

Oliver G. G. Knox, Alastair R. Leake, Robin L.Walker, Anthony C. Edwards and Christine A. Watson (2011) Revisiting the multiple benefits of historical crop rotations within contemporary UK agricultural systems. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 35(2), 163-179

O.G.G. Knox, V.V.S.R. Gupta, G.N. Roberts and S.J. Downes (2008) Improving environmental loading assessments of Cry proteins from GM plants based on experimentation in Cotton. The Open Agricultural Journal 2, 105-112.

O.G.G. Knox, D.B. Nehl, T. Mor, G.N. Roberts and V.V.S.R. Gupta (2008) Lack of effect of genetic modification of cotton on arbuscular mycorrhizal colonisation of roots. Field Crops Research 109, 57-60.

Knox, O.G.G., Gupta, V.V.S.R., Nehl, D.B. and Stiller, W.N.(2007) Differences in border cell number and constitutive root tip expression of Cry proteins in transgenic cotton. Euphytica 154, 83-90

Knox, O.G.G., Anderson, C.M.T., Nehl, D.B. and Gupta, V.V.S.R. (2006) Observation of Tylenchorhynchus ewingi in association with cotton soils in Australia. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 1, 47-48.

Standing,D., Knox, O.G.G., Mullins, C.E., Killham, K.K. and Wilson, M.J. (2006) Influence of nematodes on resource utilisation by bacteria - an in vitro study. Microbial Ecology 52, 444-450.

Knox, O.G.G., Constable G.A., Pyke B. and Gupta V.S.R.V.(2006) Environmental impact of conventional and Bt insecticidal cotton expressing one and two Cry genes in Australia. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 57(5) 501-509.

Knox, O.G.G., Anderson, C.M.T., Allen, S.J. and Nehl, D.B. (2006) Helicotylenchus dihystera in Australian cotton roots. Australasian Plant Pathology 35, 287-288.

Knox, O.G.G., Killham, K., Artz, R.R.E., Mullins, C. and Wilson, M. (2004) Rhizosphere Colonization by Seed Applied Bacteria – Interactions with Nematodes. Applied and Environmental Microbiology
70(8), 4666-4671.

VEC Stubbs, D Standing, OGG Knox, K Killham, AG Bengough and B Griffiths (2004) Root border cells take up and release glucose. Annals of Botany 93(2), 221-224.

O.G.G. Knox, K. Killham, C.E. Mullins and M.J. Wilson (2003) Nematode-enhanced microbial colonization of the wheat rhizosphere. FEMS Microbial Letters 225, 227-233.

Thouand Gérald., Philippe Daniel, Habib Horry, Pascal Picart, Marie José Durand, Ken Killham,Oliver G.G. Knox, Michael S. DuBow and Michel Rousseau (2003) Growth and spectral emission of lux recombinant and bioluminescent marine bacteria(+). Luminescnce. 18, 145-155.

Knox, O.G.G., Killham, K. and Leifert, C. (2002) The reliability of marker/reporter genes in biocontrol studies. Biocontrol Science and Technology 12(5), 637-641.

Knox, O.G.G., Killham, K. and Leifert, C. (2000) Effects of increased nitrate availability on the control of plant pathogenic fungi by the soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Applied Soil Ecology 15, 227-231.

Conference Proceedings (Refereed)

OGG Knox, T-J Marsden, S Warnick, MN Scherbatskoy, D Wilson and BA Harvie (2014). Seaweed and the reworking of old agricultural production systems to provide improved sustainability and ecosystem services. Delivering Multiple Benefits from our Land: Sustainable Development in Practice 206-214

O Knox, T-J Marsden, S Warnick, M Scherbatskoy, D Wilson and B Harvie (2013) Reinvigorating the ridges: a case study in North Uist. Aspects of Applied Biology 121, 125-132.

Gupta, V.V.S.R and Knox O.G.G. (2010) How can we best design rhizosphere plant-microbe interactions for the benefit of plant growth. The Rovira Rhizosphere Symposium.

Knox, OGG, Gupta VVSR and Lardner, R. (2009) Cotton cultivar selection impacts on microbial diversity and function. Aspects of Applied Biology 98, 129-136.

14th Australian Agronomy Conference. James H Terry, Daniel KY Tan, Nilantha R Hulugalle, Damien J Field, Tim B Weaver, Oliver G Knox. (September 2008) 'Cotton yield and soil carbon under continuous cotton, cotton-corn, cotton-vetch-corn and cotton-wheat rotations'.

13th Australian Agronomy Conference. Luelf, N., Tan, D., Hulugalle, N., Knox, O., Weaver, T. and Field, D. (September 2006) 'Root turnover and microbial activity in cotton farming systems'

6th Pacific Rim Conference. Knox, O.G.G. and Gupta, V.V.S.R. (November 2005) 'Evaluation of border cell number and Cry expression from root tips of Gossypium hirsutum'. 139-140.

Brighton Crop Protection Conference- weeds. Mitchelson, K., Knox, O., Cheng, J., Ford, M., Wilson, F. & Atkinson, D. (1995) Molecular Markers for Genetic Diversity in Cleavers (Galium aparine). 2, 451-458.UK.

Book Chapters and Occasional Proceedings

A.C. Edwards, R.L. Walker,P. Maskell, C.A. Watson, R.M. Rees, E.A. Stockdale, & O.G.G. Knox (2010) Improving bioavailability of phosphate rock: some considerations for organically managed farming systems. Sustainable Agriculture Reviews, Volume 4. Pp.99-117.

Nehl, D.B. and Knox, O.G.G. (2006) inSoil Biology, Volume 7. Microbial Activity in the Rhizosphere pp.89-119 (eds. K.G. Mukerji, C. Manoharachary, J. Singh) Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

White, D., Knox, O., Killham, K. and Leifert, C.(1999) in Biotechnological Approaches in Biocontrol of Plant Pathogens pp.227-249 (eds. K.G. Mukerji, B.P. Chamola and R.K. Upadhyay) Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York.


Member of ASSS (CPSS accredited), BSPP, BSSS and Microbiology Society. Technical led in Soil Health for CottonInfo.