Soil CRC has a board of nine directors, one of whom acts as Chair. There are five independent and four non-independent directors. There are four committees that govern Research, Risk, Nominations and Remuneration. The CEO reports to the Board on the management of the Soil CRC. The CEO has a team that reports to him to operate the Soil CRC.

    Board Members

    The Soil CRC is governed by a skills-based Board of Directors with an independent Chair and a majority of independent members.  The Board provides oversight of the Soil CRC activities, performance and strategic direction.

    Dr Paul Greenfield AO FTSE


    Dr Paul Greenfield is a chemical engineer who worked at the University of Queensland holding senior roles including Vice-Chancellor (2008-2011), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost.

    Dr Greenfield has extensive experience as a Board Director on company and CRC boards. He has worked widely with industry on projects spanning the biotechnology, water and energy sectors.

    Dr Greenfield is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, and the Institution of Chemical Engineers, UK and an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia.

    Dr Greenfield is Chair of the International Water Centre and is on the Board of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

    Professor Andrea Bishop


    Professor Andrea Bishop is the Pro Vice Chancellor Research at Griffith University. She holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry as well as postgraduate qualifications in education and business and has been awarded for her contributions in education practice, development and delivery.  She is an accomplished researcher who has held a range of senior leadership positions, with significant experience in strategic planning and implementation, risk management, capacity building, research and education management and delivery.

    Previous appointments have included deputy to the Dean of Science and Director of Research at Charles Sturt University, where she developed significant experience in supporting advancement of the research profile of the university and responsibility for all research higher degree candidatures.

    Andrea is currently a Non-Executive Director of the CRC Association Board and Griffith Enterprise Advisory Board.

    Malcolm Buckby


    Malcolm Buckby is the Manager of the South Australian Grain Industry Trust (SAGIT), responsible for SAGIT’s investment in research and development projects to support the South Australian grain industry.
    He is also the Manager for Rural Services for the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia. His office provides financial and administration services to 28 state and national agricultural groups.

    Malcolm was elected as a State Member of Parliament from 1993 to 2006 in the South Australian electorate of Light. He graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. As a former research economist and farmer, Malcolm brings a strong knowledge of agricultural issues to the Board.

    Dr Stephen Carr


    Dr Stephen Carr has over 35 years’ experience working in agricultural research and development in the government, university and private sectors. Dr Carr has a PhD in soil chemistry from the University of Western Australia. His early career involved development of soil tests to identify subsoil aluminium toxicity, followed by a career in pasture legume breeding releasing several new cultivars of pasture legumes. Dr Carr subsequently developed and patented ALOSCA technology, a delivery mechanism for rhizobial and other microbiological inoculants.

    For the past 17 years, Dr Carr has managed Aglime of Australia and Precision SoilTech, and played a major role in understanding the extent and severity of soil acidity in Western Australia, and then managing this limitation.

    Ralph Hardy


    Ralph Hardy is a director and senior manager with extensive finance, commercial, and systems experience in the manufacturing and service industries. He currently leads multinational finance teams for the Ampcontrol Group, a role which provides the strategic direction, finance policies and governance framework to all companies in the Group.

    He is responsible for provision of consolidated financial and management accounting support and reports, multinational shared service centres, treasury, finance funding, tax compliance, statutory compliance and mergers and acquisitions, together with financial management and advice.

    Ralph has strong financial management experience in number of jurisdictions in Australia, Asia and Europe. Ralph is also a Director of CRC CARE.

    Kate Lorimer-Ward


    Kate Lorimer-Ward has high level strategic planning and corporate governance skills and has been responsible for managing small and large programs, including RD&E units. She is a senior executive in the NSW public service, with the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

    She has extensive knowledge of agriculture and agricultural communities from her roles in the NSW public sector over the past 25 years, has held positions on Boards and inter-jurisdictional committees, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    Kate has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in soils and social geography, an Executive Masters in Public Administration and a Post Graduate Certificate in Climate Change for Primary Industries.

    Robbie Sefton


    Robbie Sefton is the Managing Director of strategic communication company Seftons and a farmer of wool, meat and grains. Robbie’s strategic communication skills include issues management, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder analysis and engagement, media relations, community consultation, training, corporate image and brand identity, leadership, sponsorship and special interest/advisory group expertise.

    In 2015, Robbie was named as a Westpac Australian Financial Review Woman of Influence and in 2002, she was RIRDC NSW Rural Woman of the Year.

    Robbie is also Deputy Chair of the National Australia Day Council, and has sat on advisory panels for the Australian Taxation Office, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Woolworths.

    Dr Simon Speirs


    Dr Simon Speirs is a soil scientist and R&D professional with over 20 years of experience across Australian agriculture. He has extensive experience in Australian agricultural industries and strong business innovation capabilities, strategic planning and business execution.

    Simon is part of the team at New Edge Microbials, a growth business serving global agriculture through proven biological products. He has experience in agtech, start-ups and R&D consulting. Simon previously led large investments in crop nutrition by the Australian grains industry.

    Simon has a PhD in soil science from University of Sydney and an executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

    Professor Roger Swift FTSE


    Professor Roger Swift is Emeritus Professor of Soil Science at the University of Queensland, where he was previously Executive Dean of the Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science. He has held a number of academic and research positions in soil science and agriculture at leading institutions in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and was Chief of the CSIRO Division of Soils and Chief Research Scientist (1993-2000).

    Professor Swift is a world-renowned, extensively-published soil scientist whose major research interests lie in the area of soil chemistry. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (FTSE) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and is a long-serving member of the International Union of Soil Science (1990-94 and 2006-18).


    The management of the Soil CRC is led by a Chief Executive Officer, supported by a small operational and administrative team.

    Dr Michael Crawford

    Chief Executive Officer

    Dr Michael Crawford has over 25 years’ experience in extension, research and science management in areas related to soil science, farming systems and natural resource management. Michael has an Honours Degree in agricultural science from the University of Melbourne, a PhD in soil science from the University of Adelaide, undertaken through the former CRC for Soil and Land Management, and an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the University of Melbourne and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.

    He has operated at senior levels of government and research management, he has worked with grower groups and farming communities, and he has strong relationships with relevant industry stakeholders, universities and government departments. He commenced as the inaugural CEO of the CRC for High Performance Soils in September 2017.

    Kathy Stokes

    Executive Assistant to CEO

    Kathy has extensive experience working with executives in the Hunter Region in the public, education and private sectors. Kathy is a wealth of knowledge having been involved with the Soil CRC from inception in both the bid and establishment phases. Kathy provides administrative support to the CEO.

    Kathy is passionate about people, the environment and the world in which we live and is proud to be a part of the Soil CRC – an innovative, collaborative organisation that is making a difference.

    Jodi McLean

    Operations Manager

    Jodi is a qualified scientist, manager and teacher, with over 25 years’ experience in the coordination and management of various scientific programs within the Australian agricultural industry, holding positions across industry, government and higher education sectors.

    Jodi is responsible for the effective administration of the business, overseeing the project management, governance and operational functions of the Soil CRC.

    From a seventh generation farming family in North-Western NSW, Jodi is passionate about Australian agriculture. She believes working towards improving sustainability and productivity will not only help her family, but other farming families to stay on their land.

    Mark Flick

    Finance Manager

    As a Chartered Accountant who specialises in technology with start-ups and rapid-growth companies, Mark brings a wealth of commercial experience to the organisation. Most recently Mark was the Finance Director for Civica, a software company delivering local government solutions. Mark is responsible for the financial oversight of the Soil CRC.

    Mark grew up on a farm, so is interested to see how scientists can help farmers increase productivity sustainably in this vast country of ours.

    Jessie Xu

    Finance Officer

    Jessie has many years of experience in the finance industry, including financial accounting work in the areas of telecommunication service. She has extensive financial accounting experience at a multinational company in the mining and metals industry. Jessie is responsible for payroll, payment of accounts, issuing invoices, reconciliation of project expenses and monthly accounts generating.

    Jessie is excited to be working amongst so many scientists at the Soil CRC.

    Katherine Seddon

    Communications Manager

    Katherine has over fifteen years’ experience working in Communications in both the not-for-profit and university sectors. She specialises in copywriting, editing and brand management. She is responsible for overseeing all the communications and marketing activities of the Soil CRC.

    Katherine is passionate about growing her own food on her small-scale acreage garden, so she understands and values the importance of healthy soil.

    Julie Moulton

    Research Administration Officer

    Julie is an experienced Executive Assistant and Project Officer, having worked in the legal, government and higher education sectors. Her strong administrative skills have seen her appointed to a number of high-level roles in areas of grants and awards, corporate communications, community engagement, project management and policy analysis.

    Julie has a degree in Media and Communications from UNE and a Diploma in Town Planning. She has an interest in the environment and sustainability, and rural resource management. Julie is responsible for coordinating projects and programs for the Soil CRC as well as day to day management of Soil CRC business, project software system and partnerships.

    Julie is a keen gardener, growing her own vegetables and native food trees on her small suburban plot.

    Chris Murphy

    Business Development Manager

    Chris has worked in senior executive roles in agricultural and associated industries over the past 25 years. These roles have been in the areas of R&D management, regional services, business development and rural retailing. He now operates a consultancy practice specialising in supporting Australian and New Zealand agribusinesses, research consortiums and industry organisations.

    Chris is working with companies and other organisations to build relationships, seek investment and grow support for the Soil CRC and its activities.

    Felicity Harrop

    Project Manager

    Felicity has over 20 years’ experience in extension, research and education across several agriculture industries, working with grower groups, industry, government, and vocational and higher education sectors. Felicity is responsible for delivering the Soil CRC’s Smart Farm funded Building Technical Capacity in Soil Management project across Australia. She also manages a sustainable agriculture project for the North Central Catchment Management Authority funded by the National Landcare Program. Felicity’s focus is supporting landholders and advisors to improve their soil knowledge and increase their technical capacity to manage soils sustainably to ensure productivity and profitability into the future.

    Dr Cassandra Wardle

    Student Coordinator

    Cassandra has ten years of research experience in conservation and social sciences, over five years’ experience in higher degree research training and policy, and a life-long passion for science communication and information sharing.

    Alongside her own PhD, which she completed in late 2019, Cassandra has worked to enhance the experience of HDR students including two years as the elected HDR student representative on her university’s Board of Graduate Research, and most recently as the Project Coordinator for a consortium of graduate research schools from eight Queensland universities.

    Cassandra works closely with our PhD students and is responsible for the education and training activities of the Soil CRC PhD student cohort.

    Childhood visits to her grandparents’ farms taught Cassandra just how tough the farming life can be, so she’s excited to be supporting our researchers in their efforts to improve soil management, health and productivity.

    Program Leaders

    Our four Program Leaders set and implement the research direction of the Soil CRC.

    Associate Professor Catherine Allan

    Charles Sturt University

    Catherine Allan is Associate Professor in Environmental Sociology and Planning at the Albury campus of Charles Sturt University (CSU). She held a variety of agency rural land management extension roles in Victoria and South Australia before becoming an academic in 2001. Catherine’s research explores regional scale adaptive management of ‘natural resources’. As an experienced community facilitator, Catherine has particular interests in social learning and systems thinking to support sustainable relationships among human and biophysical elements. As well as research and supervision, Catherine has been the Presiding Officer of the CSU Human Research Ethics Committee since 2014, and was Associate Director of the Institute for Land Water and Society from 2014 to 2017.

    CSU Profile

    Associate Professor Richard Doyle

    University of Tasmania

    Associate Professor Richard Doyle’s career includes over 23 years’ experience in tertiary education with undergraduate teaching, PhD, Masters and Honours project supervision. He has worked in many areas of soil and earth sciences, natural resource assessment and management, industry innovation and more recently, global food security. Alongside this, he has also worked in forestry, construction and mining for both government and industry organisations. Associate Professor Doyle has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Geology and Physical Geography from Victoria University of Wellington and a PhD in Soil Science from the University of Tasmania.

    Associate Professor Doyle has held multiple leadership roles including Head of the School of Agricultural Science and President of Soil Science Australia. He has operated as a project leader for major research projects relating to soil science. He has supervised over 18 research higher degrees (PhD/Masters) and more than 30 honours research projects. Associate Professor Doyle has won multiple teaching, academic and community service awards.

    UTAS Profile

    Professor Nanthi Bolan

    University of Newcastle

    Professor Nanthi Bolan completed his PhD in Soil Science and Plant Nutrition at the University of Western Australia, and is currently working as a Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Newcastle. His teaching and research interests include agronomic value of manures, fertilisers and soil amendments, soil acidification, nutrient and carbon cycling, greenhouse gas emission, soil remediation, and waste and wastewater management.

    Nanthi is a Fellow of the American Soil Science Society, the American Society of Agronomy and the New Zealand Soil Science Society, and was awarded the Communicator of the Year award by the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Sciences. He has supervised more than 50 postgraduate students, and was awarded the Massey University Research Medal for excellence in postgraduate students’ supervision. He has published more than 300 book chapters and journal papers, and was awarded the M.L. Leamy Award by NZ Soil Science Society in recognition of the most meritorious contribution to soil science.

    UON Profile

    Lukas Van Zwieten

    NSW Department of Primary Industries

    Dr Lukas Van Zwieten completed his PhD in Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science at the University of Sydney in 1995. He is a Senior Principal Research Scientist with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and an Adjunct Professor at Southern Cross University. His postgraduate supervision and research interests include carbon and nutrient cycling, soil function, ecotoxicology and impacts of agricultural chemicals, management practices and climate change on soil resilience. Lukas was awarded the 2016 NSW Premiers Award for Public Sector Science and Engineering, is a Churchill Fellow and a Member of Soil Science Australia. His research has been popularised through Landline (1999), ABC’s Catalyst program (2007), a CNN “special report” in 2008, ABC’s Landline (2009) and Discovery Channel’s “Ecopolis” mini-series in 2009/10. He has published more than 100 book chapters and journal papers and has several highly cited works.

    NSW Department of Primary Industries Profile