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.

Centred from 2021 at Murdoch University, this partnership founded initially between the University of Western Australia and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), has continued to grow and deliver opportunities to its member base of highly skilled, independent soil science professionals with complementary scientific and research capabilities, research and industry networks, and infrastructure and technology - now with members at DPIRD, Murdoch, UWA, Curtin University and CSIRO.

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 and policy development. 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 sector of Western Australia and those from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and CSIRO 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

Professor of Soil Microbiology and Molecular Ecology  

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.

Kerry Regan

Grains Research and Development Director at Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development  

The alliance between DPIRD 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

Director Centre for Sustainable Farming Systems and Professor (Microbiology) at Murdoch University 

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 (far right)

Director of SoilsWest and Associate Professor Soil Science at Murdoch University  

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 sector of Western Australia and the on-ground application of science and industry linkages for which the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is well known.

Chris Gazey

Manager Soil Research and soil scientist at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development  

It is critical going forward that we work toward solutions based RD&E that enables farmers to manage their risk and sustain the soil resource as we seek to secure our future. SoilsWest works to bring together the scientific capability to ensure we have the knowledge to identify, challenge and resolve current and future challenges to agriculture - and brings with it a network of industry partners and growers to ensure on-ground adoption.

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.