The project addresses the need to safeguard rangeland productivity and profitability. It capitalises on research strengths at UQ and government partners. Specifically, it will quantify the capacity of naturally occurring microbial biofilms (cyanobacteria, bacteria, micoalgae) on soil surfaces to generate bioavailable nitrogen for pastures.  Unique resources are available with long-term research station 'Kidman Spring' [Northern Territory], representative of 200 million hectares of savanna grazing lands. Samples have been collected from contrasting fire and grazing regimes and will be analysed with gene-centric, taxonomic and functional approaches. The student will be supervised by a team of UQ and government collaborators to generate a scientific publication that underpins a future research program with industry.

Location: St Lucia


Project members

Primary Supervisor:

Professor Susanne Schmidt

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Affiliated Professor
Centre for Crop Science

Associate Supervisors:

Dr Wendy Williams

Honorary Fellow
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences