Soil CRC researchers chosen as finalists

| Posted Oct 14,2021

Mathew Alexanderson, Southern Cross University and Chloe Lai, University of Southern Queensland

Two Soil CRC researchers were selected as finalists in the Cooperative Research Centres Association’s Early Career Researcher competition.

Dr Chloe Lai from the University of Southern Queensland and Mathew Alexanderson from Southern Cross University are two of the four finalists chosen for the prestigious award.

Chloe Lai’s research is focusing on helping farmers effectively manage their use of phosphorous for crop productivity and environmental impact. She is working on quantitative phosphorous modelling that will improve its use efficiency. Her research forms part of the Soil CRC project ‘Improving decision support systems’.

Mathew Alexanderson is a PhD student through the Soil CRC. His research on regenerative agriculture will improve our knowledge on farmer behaviours, aspirations and motivations, and their perceptions of existing and proposed research and development initiatives. His research links in with the Soil CRC project ‘Surveying farm practices’.

Both Mathew and Chloe are thrilled to be chosen as finalists.

“It’s exciting to be able to share my research with such a broad audience. I believe that collaboration and knowledge sharing is key to solving the environmental issues facing our farming systems,” Mathew says.

“I feel very honoured to be chosen as a finalist. To have two of the four finalists from Soil CRC shows the importance of soils research. I’m very excited for the opportunity to present my research to the wider CRC communities at the conference next week,” Chloe says.

Both Chloe and Mathew presented a five-minute thesis at the Cooperative Research Centres Association conference, Collaborate Innovate 2021. The winner of the $5,000 prize was Dylan Ashton from IMCRC and the University of Sydney, with his research on using kangaroo tendons for ACL injuries.

The Early Career Researchers Competition is an annual competition run by the Cooperative Research Centres Association celebrating research and challenging early career researchers to enhance their communication skills, receive peer review, and gain skills surrounding the presentation of their research to a broad audience. It is open to all PhD students and early career researchers at CRCs and universities across Australia. The four finalists will attend the Cooperative Research Association Gala Dinner and Innovation Awards in Canberra in March.

The Soil CRC PhD program builds capacity and invests in the future of soil research for the benefit of Australia. The Soil CRC supports 50 PhD students at its eight partner universities. A PhD through the Soil CRC provides a rewarding opportunity to contribute to the health, sustainability and profitability of soils in Australia, and the communities that depend upon them. The industry exposure that the students get through these arrangements will ensure that they are well placed to make a valuable contribution to soil research for decades to come.