BAgrSc LaTrobe, PhD Melb
Phil undertook his PhD at the University of Melbourne investigating the non-target impact of pesticides in soils with particular emphasis on the persistence of the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) in cropping soils. Following this, his post-doctoral period with CSIRO at Griffith NSW investigated the chemical control of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides Mart), following which he joined Charles Sturt University as Lecturer in Soil Management.
Since joining CSU, Phil's interests have focused on understanding the interaction of the water cycle in agricultural systems, particularly the movement of water from soils through plants to the atmosphere. As part of this interest, Phil successfully acquired funds from the Australia Research Council to design and build a lysimeter laboratory at CSU where plants roots and soil water uptake could be studied conjunctively in semi-field conditions. Since this time these facilities have hosted several major projects to investigate how agricultural plant species grow roots and use resources from the soil. A publication published in 2012 which documents the suitability of these facilities to study root growth and resource use can be found in the online journal Plant Methods (http://www.plantmethods.com/content/9/1/3).
His more recent research has focused on measuring and modelling evaporation of water from agricultural systems. As part of this work, Phil has collaborated with scientists from APSRU in Australia, ICARDA in Syria, IRRI in the Phillipines and PAU and Tamil Nadu University in India. This work has led to his current activities in investigating how the evaporation of water from soil and plant surfaces modifies the crop micro-climate and may act as a means to modify crop temperatures as a factor in combating the effects of elevate atmospheric temperatures associated with climate change in collaboration with scientists from the National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences in Tsukuba Japan.
Over his career Phil has worked in numerous countries including Syria and DPRK (North Korea). His current work in Laos, funded by ACIAR, is attempting to quantify water resources in the southern part of the country in an attempt to investigate the feasibility of and constraints to double cropping by farms in countries of the Mekong corridor.
Phil lecturers in: