Soil Plant Atmosphere Interaction Research Group

At the Soil Plant Atmosphere Interaction (SPAI) Research Group, we investigate the complex interactions between soil, plants, and the atmosphere to tackle pressing environmental issues. 

About us

SPAI research focuses on strengthening crop resilience, increasing soil health, and reducing the effects of climate change, contributing to sustainable food production systems worldwide. 

Our interdisciplinary team conducts cutting-edge research to decode the dynamic relationships within soil plant and atmosphere interactions. Drawing on the collective knowledge and experience of our specialists, we seek innovative solutions to support sustainable agriculture and the wellbeing of our planet. This involves partnerships with industry leaders, policy makers, and academic peers to translate our findings into actionable strategies. 

Our research extends from controlled laboratory settings to greenhouse trials and expansive field experiments. It includes a spectrum of environments from the urban agricultural landscapes within metropolitan Adelaide to nationwide studies and fieldwork in farming and ecosystems. Our work bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, aiming to address the pressing challenges of modern agriculture and environmental stewardship. 

Through our mentorship of honours, masters, and PhD students, we are committed to teaching the next generation of scientists and industry professionals who will drive meaningful change in the world.  

Our research and people

Our team is involved in a vast array of research initiatives including: 

Safe Soil, Safe Food

Get involved in our citizen science initiative. We invite residents of metropolitan Adelaide to contribute to our research by submitting soil samples from garden beds. We are testing of PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) contamination. This research aims to provide insights into environmental health and safety within the community. 

Our research has applied and basic implications, significantly contributing to environmental protection and enhancing sustainability in food production.  

Examples of this include: 

  • Development of improved fertilizer formulations that enhance nutrient use efficiency and minimize environmental impact. 
  • Testing of management practices that can increase soil organic carbon and improve soil health. 
  • Understanding how microbial inoculants can be used to boost plant productivity. 
  • Innovative means and methods for removing environmental contaminants. 

These research impacts, among many others, demonstrate our dedication to working on some of the most pressing challenges in agriculture, leading the way toward more sustainable and productive food systems. 

Below showcases the diverse expertise within our research group and reflects the inherently cross-disciplinary nature of soil plant atmosphere interactions. Visit an individual’s researcher profile to learn more. 

Precision-seeded seedlings emerging next to last year's stubble (Provided by Rodrigo Coqui da Silva)

Engage with us

To discuss an industry partnership, consultation, and for general research enquiries, please contact us.  

Engage with us

Image: Precision-seeded seedlings emerging next to last year's stubble (provided by Rodrigo Coqui da Silva)