New UWA researcher a soil health and fertility expert

Professor Nanthi Bolan with students.
Camera IconProfessor Nanthi Bolan with students. Credit: UWA

The UWA Institute of Agriculture has a new feather in its cap with the recent addition of world-leading soil scientist Nanthi Bolan to its team of researchers.

An expert on soil health and fertility, Prof. Bolan will also teach at the university’s School of Agriculture and Environment as part of the full time role.

Prof. Bolan, who completed his PhD at UWA in 1991, said it was something of a return to his roots.

“It was a case of right background, right people for me as I came from a farming background and graduated from UWA,” he said.

“I am excited to join such a world-class team in agricultural and environmental sciences.

“With my experience in teaching and research in both agricultural and environmental sciences, I believe we can build a greater nexus between these two fields of research and teaching.”

Prof. Bolan has had an illustrious career since completing his PhD under the supervision of former UWA Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Alan Robson, Emeritus Professor Lynette Abbott and CSIRO Chief Research Scientist Dr Jim Barrow.

He has held senior roles at Massey University of New Zealand, the University of South Australia and the University of Newcastle, and is a member of the ARC College of Experts.

He has also worked as a program leader of the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC).

“With continued decline in the land area available for cultivation, food security can be achieved only by safeguarding soil health through sustainable management practices,” Prof. Bolan said.

“I am proud that our research team has been able to identify the causes for the decline in soil health, and developed innovative methods to improve soil health to achieve food security.”

Prof. Bolan will continue his research into soil carbon sequestration and storage but said he was also looking forward to teaching and research supervision.

“I have supervised a large number of Honours, Masters and PhD students, and also served as the Dean of Graduate Studies at UniSA,” he said.

“I would like to continue supervising PhD students and mentoring early-career researchers at UWA.”

UWA Institute of Agriculture director Kadambot Siddique said Prof. Bolan’s appointment would enhance teaching and research in soil science at the university.

“Prof. Bolan is a highly cited researcher and this will further strengthen UWA’s global reputation and ranking,” Prof. Siddique said.

Head of UWA School of Agriculture and Environment Assoc. Prof. James Fogarty said Prof. Bolan was a “fantastic asset” for the university.

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