Research agronomist Jenni Clausen takes on leading SW WA Drought Hub role

Shannon VerhagenCountryman
South-West WA Drought Hub's new regional soil coordinator Jenny Clausen.
Camera IconSouth-West WA Drought Hub's new regional soil coordinator Jenny Clausen. Credit: Peter Maloney/DPIRD Photographer Peter Maloney

The latest recruit to a team working to deliver “farmer-centred drought innovation and adoption practices” across the State has been revealed as agronomist Jenni Clausen.

The experienced research scientist will work with researchers, farmers and community groups on soil projects in her new role as regional soil coordinator of the South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub.

Among her projects will be forming a nationwide network to share the latest soil science information and tools to improve soil management outcomes.

Previously working as a research scientist and development officer with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, as well as a research agronomist, coordinator and field biologist, she will bring a wealth of experience to the role.

Bruce Rock farmer and SW WA Hub Knowledge Broker Tanya Kilminster said the Hub team were confident Ms Clausen — who will be based at SoilsWest at Murdoch University — would achieve “excellent outcomes”.

“Jenni will disseminate knowledge, support projects and create links between the SW WA Hub, SoilsWest, industry, science providers and other stakeholders,” she said.

“The ultimate aim is to provide farmers and land managers with the practical tools and information they need to protect and improve our soils, which are the foundation for agriculture.

“This will allow farmers and land managers to make evidence-based decisions for future growing seasons.”

The SW WA Hub — based at Merredin’s Dryland Research Institute with regional nodes in Bunbury, Manjimup, Albany, Katanning, Esperance, Carnarvon, Geraldton and Northam — is funded through the Federal Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund.

Hub lead Grower Group Alliance received funding from the National Landcare Program for the position.

SoilsWest director associate professor Fran Hoyle said the role would build on collaborations across academic, industry, government and landholder sectors to improve soil management.

“Murdoch University’s focus on translational science means we are particularly excited to welcome Jenni and partner with the GGA to improve information flow between research scientists, industry, government and landholders — creating change and ultimately better managing our soil resource,” she said.

Working with Soil Science Australia, Ms Clausen will help form a “National Community of Practice” with the regional soil coordinators appointed in each of the eight drought hubs across the country to share information and tools.

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