Dr Richard Flavel

Lecturer in Crop Science - School of Environmental and Rural Science

Richard Flavel

Phone: +61 2 6773 2441

Email: rflavel3@une.edu.au


Richard completed Rural Science at the University of New England (2008). He specialised in plant nutrition, with honours exploring the availability of sulfur from novel fertilizer sources in field. Following this he worked as a broadacre commercial agronomist based in Narrabri, Northern NSW before returning to UNE to complete a PhD (“Visualising and quantifying cereal root responses to phosphorus”). Richard has worked as a Research Fellow in plant-soil interactions for the Cooperative Research Centre for Polymers on non-wetting soils and the interactions between the wheat root systems, the soil physical structure and ‘functionalized polymers’ capable of moderating the soil moisture dynamics. In his current role as Crop Lecturer his research interest is in the soil physico-chemical interactions that occur at the root interface and the implications that mechanisms at this locus have for crop and plant productivity.


Visualisation of plant root systemBRurSc (Hons), PhD (UNE)

Research Interests

  • Crop agronomy and plant nutrition
  • Root system architecture
  • Soil-plant interactions (physics and chemistry)
  • X-ray computed tomography, X-ray fluorescence


Flavel, R.J. Guppy, C., Tighe, M., Watt, M., Young, I.M (2014) Quantifying the response of wheat (Triticum aestivum L) root system architecture to phosphorus in an Oxisol. Plant and Soil 385: 303-310

McLaren, T.I., Guppy, C.N., Tighe, M.K., Schefe, C., Flavel, R.J., Cowie, B., Tadich, A. (2014) Validation of soil phosphate removal by alkaline and acidic reagents in a Vertosol soil using XANES spectroscopy, Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis

McLaren, T., Guppy, C., Tighe, M., Bell, M., Rochester, I., Flavel, R., (2014), Growth and phosphorus uptake of faba bean and cotton are related to Colwell-P concentrations in the subsoil of Vertosols. Crop and Pasture Science 64: 825-833.

Quin, P., Young, I.M., Van Zwieten, L., Cowie, A., Flavel, R., Singh, B. Morris, S. (2014) Oil mallee biochar improves soil structural properties – a study with x-ray micro-CT. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 191: 142-149

Helliwell, J., Sturrock, C., Grayling, K., Tracey, S., Flavel, R., Young, I., Whalley, W., Mooney, S., (2013) Applications of X-ray computed tomography for examining the soil physical environment: A review. European Journal of Soil Science 64: 279-297

Haling, R., Tighe, M., Flavel, R., Young, I.M., (2013) Application of X-ray computed tomography to quantify fresh root decomposition in situ. Plant and Soil 372: 619 - 627

Flavel, R.J., Guppy, C., Tighe, M., Watt, M., McNeill, A., Young, I. (2012) Non-destructive quantification of cereal roots in soil using high-resolution X-ray tomography. Journal of Experimental Botany 63: 2503-2511

Tighe, M., Haling, R., Flavel, R.J., Young, I. (2012) Ecological succession, hydrology and carbon acquisition of biological soil crusts measured at the micro-scale. PLoS ONE, Vol 7 e48565.

Consultancy Interests