Associate Professor Brian Wilson

Deputy Associate Dean, Research - Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law

Brian Wilson

Phone: +61 2 6773 3287



Brian is a soil scientist/ecologist.  He was awarded his PhD in Soil Science from the University of Reading (UK) in 1992 and since that time has developed a research program in the area of plant:soil interactions. Brian was a Senior Lecturer at University of Hertfordshire (UK) and then Senior Research Scientist with NSW State Government before joining UNE in 2010 in a position co-funded by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Recent research has focused particularly on soil carbon dynamics, storage and distribution; carbon storage in soil and vegetation systems across NSW; the effects of land-use change on soil carbon and soil health; soil condition indicators and monitoring techniques. Brian currently supervises a range of post-graduate students investigating soil carbon dynamics, distribution and modeling; the estimation and prediction of soil and biomass carbon through remote imagery and modelling, and the carbon storage potential of native vegetation systems. Inquiries from potential post-graduate students are always welcome.



Research Interests

Current Research Interests

  • 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

Current Research Projects

  • Temporal Variability of soil carbon (DAFF)
  • Soil carbon storage under Environmental Plantings (DAFF)
  • The importance of deep soil carbon (DAFF)
  • Mixed waste organic outputs: application to NSW soils (Environmental Trust)
  • High resolution estimation of biomass and soil carbon (Biomass Business: CRC for Spatial Information)


Refereed Publications


WILSON B R, KING D, GROWNS I AND VEERGATHIPILLAI M (2017) Climatically driven change in soil carbon across a basalt landscape is restricted to non-agricultural land-use systems. Soil Research.

HOBLEY E, LE GAY-BRERETON AND WILSON B R (2017) Forest burning affects quality and quantity of soil organic matter. Science of the Total Environment, 575, 41-49.


HOBLEY E, LE GAY-BRERETON AND WILSON B R (2016) Soil charcoal prediction via ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. Soil Research, May 2016.

RABBI S M F, DANIEL H, LOCKWOOD P V, MACDONALD C, PEREG L, TIGHE M, WILSON B R AND YOUNG I M (2016) Physical soil architectural traits are functionally linked to carbon decomposition and bacterial diversity. Nature Scientific Reports, 6, 33012.

HOBLEY E, BALDOCK J, HUA Q AND WILSON B R (2016) Land-use contrasts reveal instability of subsoil organic carbon.  Global Change Biology.

ENGLAND J R, PAUL K I, CUNNINGHAM S C, MADHAVAN D B, CAVAGNARO T R, BAKER T G, READ Z, WILSON B R, HERRMANN T, LEWIS T, PERRING M P and POLGLASE P (2016) Previous land use and climate influence differences in soil organic carbon following reforestation of agricultural land with mixed-species plantings. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 227, 61-72.

HOBLEY E, BALDOCK J AND WILSON B R (2016) Environmental and human influences on organic carbon fractions down the soil profile.  Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 233, 152-166.

VERMA N, LAMB D, REID N AND WILSON B R (2016) Comparison of canopy volume measurements of scattered eucalypt farm trees derived from high spatial resolution imagery and LiDAR.  Remote Sensing, 8(5), 388.

HOBLEY E AND WILSON B R (2016) The depth distribution of organic carbon in the soils of Eastern Australia. Ecosphere, 7(1) Jan 2016.


S.M. FAZLE RABBI, TIGHE M, BAQUERIZO M D, COWIE A, ROBERTSON F, DALAL R, PAGE K, CRAWFORD D, WILSON B R, SCHWENKE G, MCLEOD M, BADGERY W, DANG Y, BELL M, O'LEARY G, LIU D L, and BALDOCK J (2015) Climate and soil properties limit the positive effects of land use reversion on carbon storage in Eastern Australia. Nature Scientific Reports, 5, 17866.

GRAY J M, BISHOP T F A and WILSON B R (2015) Factors controlling soil organic carbon stocks with depth in eastern Australia.  Soil Science Society of America Journal, 79(6), 1741-1751.

RABBI S M F, WILSON B R, LOCKWOOD P V, DANIEL H AND YOUNG I M (2015) Aggregate hierarchy and carbon mineralization in two Oxisols of New South Wales, Australia.  Soil & Tillage Research, 146 (2015) 193–203.

HOBLEY E, WILSON B R, WILKIE A, GRAY J AND KOEN T (2015) Drivers of soil organic carbon storage and depth distribution in Eastern Australia. Plant and Soil, 390:111–127.


RABBI S M F, TIGHE M, COWIE A, WILSON B R, SCHWENKE G, MCLEOD M, BADGERY W, BALDOCK J (2014) The relationships between land uses, soil management practices, and soil carbon fractions in South Eastern Australia.  Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 197, 41-52.

WALELA C K, DANIEL H, WILSON B, COWIE A, LOCKWOOD P, HARDEN S (2014) The initial Lignin:nitrogen ratio of litter from above and below ground sources strongly and negatively influenced decay rates of slowly decomposing litter carbon pools.  Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 77, 268-275.

BARNES P, WILSON B R, REID N, BAYERLEIN L, KOEN T B AND OLUPOT G (2014) Examining the impact of shade on aboveground biomass and NDVI of C3 and C4 grass species in North-Western NSW, Australia.  Grass and Forage Science. 70: 324–334

RABBI F S M, WILSON B R, LOCKWOOD P V, HOOK J, DANIEL H, AND YOUNG I M (2014) Characterization of soil organic matter in aggregate and density fractions by solid state 13C CPMAS NMR spectroscopy. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 45(11), 1523-1537.

SENAPATI N, HULUGALLE N, SMITH P, WILSON B R, YELURIPATI J, DANIEL H, GHOSH S, LOCKWOOD P (2014) Modelling soil organic carbon storage with RothC in irrigated Vertisols under cotton cropping systems in the sub-tropics.  Soil and Tillage Research, 143, 38-49.

GHOSH S, OW L F AND WILSON B R (2014)Influence of biochar and compost on soil properties and tree growth in a tropical urban environment.  International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology.

VERMA N K, LAMB D W, REID AND WILSON B R (2014) A comparative study of land cover classification techniques for ‘farmscapes’ using very high-resolution remotely sensed data.  Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 80 (5), 461-470.

VERMA N K, LAMB D, REID N AND WILSON B R (2014) An allometric model for estimating DBH of single Eucalyptus trees and tree clusters from measurements of tree height and canopy size. Forest Ecology and Management, 326, 125-132.

RABBI S M F, WILSON B R, LOCKWOOD P V, DANIEL H, AND YOUNG I M (2014) Soil organic carbon mineralization rates in aggregates under contrasting land uses.  Geoderma, 216, 10-18.


SENAPATI N, SMITH P, WILSON B R, YELURIPATI J B, DANIEL H, LOCKWOOD P AND GHOSH S (2013) Projections of changes in grassland soil organic carbon under climate change are relatively insensitive to methods of model initialisation. European Journal of Soil Research, 64(2), 229-238.

SANDERMAN J, FILLERY I R P, JONGEPIER R, MASSALSKY A, ROPER M, MACDONALD L M, MADDERN T,  MURPHY D V, WILSON B R AND BALDOCK J A (2013) Carbon sequestration under subtropical perennial pastures I: Overall trends.  Soil Research, 51, 760-770.

WILSON B R AND LONERGAN V (2013) Land-use and historical management effects on soil carbon in grazing lands of the northern Tablelands of NSW, Australia.  Soil Research, 51, 668–679.

SMITH R, TIGHE M, REID N, BRIGGS S AND WILSON B R (2013) Effects of grazing, trenching and surface soil disturbance on ground cover in woody encroachment on the Cobar Pediplain, south-eastern Australia.  Journal of Arid Environments, 96, 80-86.

SMITH R, TIGHE M, REID N, BRIGGS S AND WILSON B (2013) Patch and soil characteristics of pastures with water spreading banks and woody encroachment in semi-arid Australia.  Ecological Management & Restoration, 14 (2).

MUÑOZ-ROBLES C, TIGHE M, REID N, FRAZIER P, BRIGGS S V AND WILSON B (2013) A two-step up-scaling method for mapping runoff and sediment production on hillslopes in semi-arid landscapes. Ecohydrology, 6, 83-93.

RABBI S M F, HUA Q, DANIEL H, LOCKWOOD P, WILSON B R AND YOUNG I M (2013) Mean residence time of soil organic matter in aggregates under contrasting land uses based on radiocarbon measurements. Radiocarbon, 55, 127-139.


LEMON J, MARTIN W, WILSON B, NADOLNY C AND LUNNEY D (2012) Habitat reconstruction at the Gunnedah Research Centre, Gunnedah, NSW.  Australasian Plant Conservation, 21(2), 9-10.

GHOSH S, YEO D, WILSON B R AND OW L F (2012) Application of char products improves urban soil quality in Singapore.  Soil Use and Management, 28, 329–336.

GHOSH S, WILSON B R, GHOSHAL S K, SENAPATI N AND MANDAL B (2012) Organic amendments influence soil quality and carbon sequestration in the Indo-Gangetic plains of India. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment, 156, 134-141.

TIGHE M, MUNOZ-ROBLES C, REID N, WILSON B R, BRIGGS S V (2012) Hydrological thresholds of soil surface properties identified using conditional inference tree analysis.  Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 37, 620-632.


BARNES P, WILSON B R, TROTTER M, LAMB D, REID N, AND KOEN T (2011) The patterns of grazed pasture associated with scattered trees across an Australian temperate landscape: an investigation of pasture quantity and quality. The Rangeland Journal, 33(2), 121 – 130.

NGUYEN B T, HOA H T, NGO V T H AND WILSON B R (2011) Comparative study of soil properties under various cultivation regimes of different crops. Soil Research, 49(7), 595 – 605.

MUNOZ-ROBLES C, FRAZIER P, TIGHE M, REID N, BRIGGS S V AND WILSON B R (2011) Assessing ground cover from fused Quickbird data in semi-arid woody vegetation and pasture in south-eastern Australia. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 14, 94-102.

BARNES P, WILSON B R, REID N, LOCKWOOD P, KOEN T AND LAMB D (2011) Litter and associated nutrient pools extend beyond the canopy of scattered Eucalypt trees in grazing landscapes of northern New South Wales, Australia. Plant and Soil, 345 (1-2): 339-352

WILSON B R, KOEN T, BARNES P, GHOSH S AND KING D (2011) Soil carbon and related soil properties along a soil type and land-use intensity gradient, New South Wales, Australia. Soil Use and Management, 27, 437-447.

MUNOZ-ROBLES C, REID N, TIGHE M, BRIGGS S V AND WILSON B R (2011) Soil hydrological and erosional responses in areas of woody encroachment, pasture and woodland in semi-arid Australia. Journal of Arid Environment, 75, 936-945.

MUNOZ-ROBLES C, REID N, TIGHE M, BRIGGS S V AND WILSON B R (2011) Soil hydrological and erosional responses in patches and inter-patches in vegetation states in semi-arid Australia. Geoderma, 160, 524-534.


MUNOZ-ROBLES C, REID N, FRAZIER P, TIGHE M, BRIGGS S V AND WILSON B (2010) Factors related to gully erosion in semi-arid woodland subject to woody encroachment in south-eastern Australia. Catena, 83, 148-157.

WILSON B R, BARNES P, KOEN T, GHOSH S AND KING D (2010) Measurement and estimation of land-use effects on soil carbon and related properties on a basalt landscape of northern NSW, Australia. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 48, 421-433.

GHOSH S, WILSON B R., MANDAL B, GHOSHAL S K AND GROWNS I (2010) Changes in soil organic carbon pool in three long-term fertility experiments with different cropping systems, inorganic and organic soil amendments in the eastern cereal belt, India. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 48, 413-420.


BARNES P, WILSON B R, NADOLNY C AND GROWNS I (2009) The influence of individual native trees and grazing regime on soil and groundcover patterns in a temperate landscape of NSW, Australia. The Rangeland Journal, 31, 405-415.

WILSON B R, GHOSH S, BARNES P AND KRISTIANSEN P (2009) Drying temperature effects on soil bulk density and carbon density determination in soils of northern NSW. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 47, 781-787.

TIGHE M, REID N R, WILSON B R, BRIGGS S V (2009) Invasive Native Scrub and Soil condition in semi-arid New South Wales, Australia. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 132 (3-4), 212-222.

YOUNG R R, WILSON B R, HARDEN S AND BERNARDI A (2009) Rates of accumulation of soil carbon stocks under zero tillage cropping and pastures on the Liverpool Plains, eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 47(3), 273-285.

MCHENRY M T, WILSON B R, LEMON J, LOCKWOOD P V, GUPPY C N, SINDEL B M, DONNELLY D E AND GROWNS I O (2009) The impact of individual White Cypress Pine trees on soils and vegetation in agricultural landscapes of the North-Western Slopes of New South Wales, Australia. The Rangeland Journal, 39(3).


WILSON B R, GROWNS I AND LEMON J (2008) Land-use effects on soil carbon and other soil properties on the NW slopes of NSW: Implications for soil condition assessment. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 46(4), 359-367.

FORTUNASO KL, MONTAGU KD, BARTON CVM, COWIE AL, RAWSON A, WILSON BR, GEORGE BH (2008) Carbon sequestration predictor for land use change in inland areas of New South Wales. New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Version 3.1, Sep 2008.