Why Join Us?

The SoilsWest (agriculture) alliance is an independent entity focused on providing a pathway for the discovery and development of soil research to improve both profitability and soil resource management across the Western Australian grains industry.

A foundational partnership between the University of Western Australia (UWA) and Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA), SoilsWest is currently made up of a group of highly skilled, independent soil science professionals with complementary scientific and research capabilities, research and industry networks, and infrastructure and technology.

The partnership works to develop and deliver strategic research projects supporting the WA grains industry in particular, but also contributes nationally to the Australian grains industry through innovative soil research. SoilsWest invites wider input and partnerships from other local, state and Commonwealth government institutions, industry and grower groups, agribusiness, Universities as well as specific interest groups.

The SoilsWest alliance provides a ‘marketplace’ and network of discipline focused connections to improve integration between the soil science communities, optimise existing collaborations, provide prospective funding opportunities, provide training and education opportunities, and provide parallel soils information and technologies to ensure the continued development of economic farming systems and food chain security.

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SoilsWest alliance started
Almost two years ago the SoilsWest concept gained traction with foundational partners the University of Western Australia and Department of Agriculture and Food WA recognising a need for delivering more integrated, delivery focused soil science from core science to application and development.
Soil research contributors
Soil scientists from the University of Western Australia in Perth and those from the Department of Agriculture and Food WA located regionally across WA, work together to translate and develop core scientific knowledge into information, strategies and tools that better utilise our soil resource for sustainable production.
SoilsWest supports and contribute to meaningful student placement with industry groups and collaborative research organisations and is keen to develop networks for the mentoring of tertiary students, as well as staff development.

The Executive Team

Tony O'Donnell

Dean of Science at the University of Western Australia was instrumental in the foundational partnership exploration and development of SoilsWest.

SoilsWest provides a unique opportunity to identify and connect students, scientists and partnering organisations to a range of different skill sets, knowledge and experience that provides greater capacity to deliver more integrated soil research - from more fundamental core science through to application, on-ground development and ultimately communicated to farmers to inform decision making.

Mark Sweetingham (on left)

Grains Research and Development Executive Director at DAFWA.

The alliance between DAFWA and UWA provides students and graduates with a unique opportunity to extend their academic knowledge to the agricultural industries, by engaging with department scientists in field and laboratory research. Not only will the students benefit from the experience, the department benefits from the potential for fresh thinking from which new ideas and solutions can be generated. The strength of our work comes from addressing multiple challenges at the same time, as soil constraints rarely occur in isolation.

Daniel Murphy

Head of the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, Co-Director SoilsWest and active soil scientist  

SoilsWest looks forward to linking more closely with other potential partners to grow soil science research capacity in WA and improve connectivity from the laboratory to the farm gate to deliver industry relevant research to agriculture. 

Frances Hoyle (centre)

Director of SoilsWest and Associate Professor in soil science at UWA

Translational research and integrated science delivery has the potential to explore and resolve complex soil targets delivering greater impact and value for the investment. SoilsWest is a natural fit for the core science and skills development role undertaken by the University of Western Australia and the on-ground application of science and industry linkages for which the Department of Agriculture and Food WA is well known. 

Kerry Regan

Director Grains Research and Innovation at DAFWA

DAFWA and UWA intend to work more closely together to find the gaps in our knowledge base and examine new ideas to provide evidence-based strategies, tools and technology to enhance soil potential and sustainability and crop profitability.

We Invite

We invite active contributors, student interest and industry to express interest in being involved.

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    SoilsWest Alliance

    With so many years of experience in soil research across organisations in Western Australia, working together to integrate that knowledge and
    support new capacity for the highest quality science and better information and choices for growers is our ultimate goal.

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