Participating Universities Program

The Participating Universities Program at SOM2019 is designed to support Student Participation at the Symposium through a series of Student Ambassadors that are supported by sponsorship from Australian Universities and Affiliates. The aim of the Program is to develop a network of well-connected, confident and early career researchers from across the globe to develop ‘new leaders’ in the field of SOM research for the future. The Program will allow for wide engagement of students at the meeting and for talented students to promote their research and skills through exposure to the International SOM community and to develop important global contacts. The support of the Participating Universities and involvement of the Student Ambassadors in the Symposium is welcomed and SOM2019 looks forward to engaging with students from across the globe.


Manjula Premaratne

Supported by Soil West

Manjula is a PhD student in the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Western Australia. Manjula’s work funded in partnership with GRDC focusses on “quantifying nitrogen (N) pathways in soil and N uptake efficiency” in Western Australian cropping systems. Carbon: N ratio of organic matter (OM) often indicates how readily residues decompose, providing an indication of the amount, timing and rate of N release. Thus, this study investigates the influences of OM in different farming systems and at different depths on soil N release. Manjula received a MSc (First class honours) from Lincoln University, New Zealand. In addition to his BSc, he also has two graduate diplomas in Soil Science and Laboratory Technology.

SoilsWest is an independent entity focused on developing pathways for the discovery, development and application of soil research to improve both profitability and soil resource management across the Western Australian grains industry.

A partnership between the University of Western Australia (UWA) and Department of Primary Industries Western Australia (DPIRD) has extended to include highly skilled, independent soil science professionals from Murdoch University and CSIRO in WA.

SoilsWest works to develop and deliver strategic research projects supporting the WA and national grains industry through innovative soil research, providing complementary scientific and research capabilities, research and industry networks, education, infrastructure and technology.

Basharat Ali

Supported by Federation University

Basharat is pursuing his 2nd PhD on the topic of “Value Proposition for Australian Digital Agriculture, with a Focus on Precision Agriculture”. He is a PhD in Tech, Ops & Logistics Mgmt. from Malaysia. He relates to almost fifteen years of national and international experience in academia, training, mgmt. and industry consultancy. Also, he has conducted academic trainings and workshops on research methods (from research design to data analysis through latest Structural Equation Modelling approaches and SPSS), for post-grad students and academicians. He has numerous international publications, published with Scopus and peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings to his credit.

Federation University Australia (FedUni) is Australia’s newest university built on a history of success and a strong tradition of education and training, spanning nearly 150 years. FedUni is the nation’s first regional, multi-sector university and the third oldest site of higher learning in Australia. With campuses in Ballarat, Berwick, Brisbane, Gippsland, the Wimmera, we deliver high quality, vocational and higher education programs that equip our 23,000 national and international student population with the knowledge, skills and aptitude for further studies, employment and to be effective global citizens. FedUni has a strong research track record and conducts internationally recognised, world-class research across a number of key focus areas.

Elizabeth Coonan

Supported by Fenner School of Environment and Society

Elizabeth Coonan is a PhD student with the Australian National University Fenner School of Environment and Society and CSIRO Agriculture and Food based in Canberra. Her main research interest is soil organic matter in pasture crop rotation systems with a focus on the impact of liming, nutrient addition, and cultivation on soil organic matter when acid pasture soils are converted to cropping. She has an undergraduate degree in Science and Engineering from the Australian National University.

The Fenner School of Environment & Society is a world-leading centre for cross-disciplinary environmental and sustainability research, education and policy-relevant advice. Our research focuses on providing reliable scientific, sociological and institutional knowledge to inform sustainable food and water policies and improve the management, use and conservation of natural resources. Our cross-disciplinary education programs are designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills and practical experience they need to address complex environmental issues and support sustainable futures.

Elaine Mitchell

Supported by Queensland University of Technology

Elaine is currently a student at Queensland University of Technology. Her PhD focuses on using isotopically labelled biomass to trace the fate of above-ground residues to SOC and GHGs. Elaine completed her undergraduate and Masters education in the UK (Durham University and Cambridge University). Prior to her PhD, Elaine worked in the EU-CDM framework, initiating and maintaining agro-forestry projects in developing countries.


7th International Symposium
Soil Organic Matter

6 – 11 October 2019

Hilton Adelaide

Adelaide, South Australia


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