Partner Profile: Charles Sturt University

Posted Dec 05,2019

Soil CRC Project Leader Professor David Faleapau with Charles Sturt Farm Manager James Stephens

For the past 30 years, Charles Sturt University has been producing professionals for rural regions from across multiple campuses.

There are four research centres based at Charles Sturt. The Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation and the Institute for Land, Water and Society are the two largest and both centres have strong links with the Soil CRC.

The Graham Centre is focused on agriculture and is a research alliance with NSW Department of Primary Industry. The Institute for Land, Water and Society is the home of much of the economic research from the Soil CRC.

Charles Sturt are an important participant of the Soil CRC. Not only are they a major partner, but they also provide us with the Leader of Program 1, Associate Professor Catherine Allan.

Why the Soil CRC?

Catherine Allan believes that Charles Sturt University’s focus on rural and regional Australia links in with the Soil CRC’s work in increasing the productivity of Australia’s agricultural sector.

“Charles Sturt has a strong history of working with rural groups such as Landcare and we bring those relationships with us to the Soil CRC,” says Catherine.

Charles Sturt not only has strengths in soil science, but also in the disciplines of social science and economics. This facilitates a systemic approach to the Soil CRC, producing a rounded and fuller research package for the grower groups and end-users.

“When we talk about collaboration, we are not just talking about interactions between soil scientists and farmers, we are talking about bankers, economists and social scientists coming together with farmers to make the research of the Soil CRC richer and more relevant,” Catherine says.

Charles Sturt University is heavily invested in the agricultural sector.

“Agriculture is only going to become more and more important. Farming sustainably and addressing the challenges of climate change are some of the biggest issues facing agriculture, and soil is integral to that story,” she says.

Charles Sturt University has been a part of that story since its beginning, investing in soil is vital for rural areas.

“The connections that Charles Sturt researchers can make with researchers from other rural universities in different states of Australia and the cross fertilisation of ideas is so important. It makes the research faster, more efficient and more innovative,” Catherine says.  

Projects Charles Sturt University are working on:

Understanding and promoting good soil stewardship – led by Professor Mark Morrison, Charles Sturt University in collaboration with University of Tasmania

Collaborative approaches to innovation – led by Dr Nicholas Pawsey, Charles Sturt University, with collaborations from Federation University, Murdoch University, University of Southern Queensland and University of Tasmania.

Building farmer innovation capability – led by Professor David Falepau, Charles Sturt University with collaborations from Birchip Cropping Group, Central West Farming Systems, EPARF, Herbert Cane Productivity Services, Riverine Plains Inc.

Addressing complex soil constraints – led by Dr Jason Condon, Charles Sturt University, with collaborations from Birchip Cropping Group, Agriculture Victoria, Facey Group, FarmLink, Hart Field Site Group, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Riverine Plains Inc., Central West Farming Systems.

Why soil management practices are adoptedled by Professor Vaughan Higgins, The University of Tasmania, with collaborations from Birchip Cropping Group, Central West Farming Systems, Charles Sturt University, Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation, Mackillop Farm Management Group, Riverine Plains Inc., University of Southern Queensland and Western Australian No-Tillage Farmers Association.

Surveying farm practicesled by Dr Hanabeth Luke, Southern Cross University, with collaborations from Charles Sturt University, North Central CMA, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Primary Industries and Regions SA, Western Australian No-Tillage Farmers Association.

Risk assessment of new practices – led by Associate Professor Kala Saravanathu, University of Newcastle with collaborations from Birchip Cropping Group, Central West Farming Systems, Charles Sturt University.

Regenerative farming systems – led by Dr Gwen Grelet, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research NZ, with collaborations from Charles Sturt University, Agriculture Victoria, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Primary Industries and Regions SA, Southern Cross University, Southern Farming Systems, University of Newcastle, University of Southern Queensland.

Plant based solutions to improve soil performance –  led by Associate Professor Terry Rose, Southern Cross University with collaborations with Central West Farming Systems, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Murdoch University, Charles Sturt University, Burdekin Productivity Services, Herbert Cane Productivity Services, Farmlink, Hart Field Site Group, Riverine Plains and Western Australian No-Tillage Farmers Association.

Researcher Field of expertise
Mark Morrison Environmental economics and environmental marketing
David Falepau Agricultural Value Chains, innovation
Eddie Oczkowski Applied economics and quantitative methods  
Morgan Miles Entrepreneurship, innovation, marketing
Jason Condon Nutrient cycling, compost and fertiliser use in agricultural soils
Nick Pawsey International accounting convergence, policy, and accounting 
Catherine Allan Rural society, systems thinking, and adaptive management
Mark Frost Financial markers, trade and development
Alfred Wong Asset Pricing, Risk Management
Julia Lynch Public policy, competition policy, measures of competitiveness, banking