Soil Biology and Genomics

Soil Profile

All terrestrial life on earth depends upon soil, making it one of our most important resources.


We make use of a range of technologies in our research program and aim to generate research outcomes that enable us to build a holistic picture of how soil organisms influence the ecology, growth and diversity of plants and animals.

The outcomes from our research will be used to improve future strategies for ecosystem management, increased plant production, carbon sequestration, and remediation of contaminated soils.


Our mission is to innovate, integrate and extend knowledge of soil biodiversity and its linkages with ecosystem services in order to gain a holistic view of belowground responses to environmental and global change.



Soil Biology and Genomics Theme Scientists

Position Name Keywords
Theme Leader Prof Elise Pendall Soil science, biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, stable isotope ecology
Deputy Theme Leader A/Prof Jeff Powell         Microbial ecology, community assembly, ecological informatics
Director Prof Ian Anderson Microbial ecology, molecular ecology, mycorrhizal fungi, plant microbe interactions
Professor Prof Brajesh Singh Microbial ecology, functional microbial ecology, global processes
Lecturer Dr Yolima Carrillo Rhizosphere mediation, impacts of drought, drought tolerance, microbial metabolism
Lecturer Dr Catriona Macdonald Microbial ecology, plant-soil interactions, nutrient cycling
Lecturer Dr Uffe Nielsen Soil biodiversity, global change, ecosystem processes
Lecturer Dr Alexie Papanicolaou Bioinformatics, molecular biology, computer science, genome bioinformatics, biosecurity, climate adaptation, evolutionary biology
Lecturer Dr Jonathan Plett Signalling, effectors, protein characterisation               
Research Fellow Dr Suzanne Donn Root–microbe interactions, soil microbial ecology, mycorrhizal fungi; root architecture
Research Fellow Dr Anne Griebel Ecosystem properties and functioning, biosphere-atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide, water and methane
Research Fellow Dr Kelly Hamonts Plant-microbe interactions, soil microbial ecology, bioremediation, nitrous oxide emissions         
Research Fellow Dr Sebastian Horn
Research Fellow Dr Sara Hortal Botifoll Ecology of soil microorganisms, particularly ectomycorrhizal fungi      
Research Fellow Dr Tom Jeffries Next-Generation 'omics' tools, microbial bioremediation of organophosphorus and aromatic hydrocarbon contaminants          
Research Fellow Dr Loic Nazaries Greenhouse gases, microbial control and modelling, climate change  
Research Fellow Dr Krista Plett 
 

What Is Genomics?

Genomics is the study of an organism's genetic makeup and how all its genes work together to make an organism function.

We use scientific techniques like recombinant DNA (combining different genes together in various arrangements) and gene sequencing (analysing which genes are present and how they can be turned on and off) to understand which organisms are present in soils and how they perform different functions at a genetic level. 

Eucalyptus Leaf