Study level

  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Elaine Mitchell
Research Associate
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science
Associate Professor David Rowlings
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science

External supervisors

  • Trevor Hall


Soils are now in the ‘front line’ of global environmental change. Soils are the largest global pool of actively cycling organic C and N. Maintaining and increasing soil organic matter (SOM) is a prominent strategy for mitigating atmospheric CO2 and adapting agriculture to climate change.

At the same time the global biodiversity crisis has led to increased scrutiny on supply chains to scrutinise farms ecological footprint. Planting or retaining trees in the landscape has the opportunity to achieve both outcomes, however the tradeoffs between tree cover, pasture production, soil carbon and biodiversity values are not clear.

Research activities

This project will travel to a number of field sites across SE-Qld, identify potential experimental areas, collect soil carbon samples and establish pasture production monitoring stations.


  • assessment of the optimal tree balances for soil carbon, production and biodiversity
  • skills in measuring and account for soil carbon, pasture biomass production and diversity
  • data analytics and interpretation.

Skills and experience

Be prepared for field work.



Contact the supervisor for more information.