Queensland Branch Awards and Sponsorship

"The Branch shall awards prizes to students for high achievement in soil science on an annual basis providing the Branch has the financial resources to do so.  Prizes may be awarded at any level of education from primary school to tertiary post-graduate level."

In the past the Branch has awarded many prizes including Undergraduate and Postgraduate awards for excellence in soil science and prizes at the annual Science Teachers Association of Queensland (STAQ) Science Contest for primary and secondary school students.  Further details on these awards can be found below.

Student Support to the National Soil Conferences

The National Soils Conference is held bi-annually across Australia and the Queensland Branch and Federal Council of the Society provide funds to support student attendance at the conference.  Normally a student must have been a member for a minimum of twelve months and have a paper or poster accepted at the conference. Use the link below to read the reports from the 2012 student support winners.

2012 Hobart Conference Queensland Student Reports

Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Soil Science
Typically each university in Queensland teaching soil science is invited to nominate a suitable student who has reached a high standard in a soils related area.  The award is not restricted to research projects, and may include outstanding assignments and presentations from coursework subjects. Prizes include a cash prize, a book prize (Australian Soil and Land Survey – Field Handbook (The Yellow Book)), one year’s membership to Soil Science Australia and a certificate.  Award recipients are requested to give a fifteen minute presentation of their work and answer some questions at the Branch's Undergraduate Awards Night (held in conjunction with an OGM).  The nominee who gives the best presentation receives an additional cash prize.

Previous recipients of the award include:  

2012 Caitlin Morris (JCU) John van Osta (UQ) Travis Wieck (USQ)
2011 Jack Koci (JCU) and Jocelyn Drabsch (QUT)      
2008 Peter Harley (JCU) Kieren Walters (USQ)    
2007 Margaret Barker (JCU) Katherine Parsons (GU) Kate Hughes (UQ)  
2006 Sarah Connor (JCU) Joe McMahon (GU) Kathryn Conrad (UQ) Wes Nielsen (USQ)
2005 Lauren Johnson (JCU) Carmen Dyer (UQ St Lucia) Jessica Peters (UQ Gatton) Amphone Sivongxay (USQ)
2004 Jessica Gutknecht (JCU) Kurt Deifel (UQ) Loretta McKeering (USQ) Ian Layden (USC)
2003 Benjamin Love (GU) Kate Rigg (UQ) Malcolm Gillies (USQ)  
2002 Jane Rigg (UQ) Ashwin Kumar (USQ)    
2001 Jason Perna (UQ) Heinz de Chelard (USQ) Jodie Witt (USC)  
2000 Jade Swain (GU) Katherine Snars (UQ) Cameron Vacher (USQ)  
1999 Elizabeth Meier (UQ) Danny Rattray (USQ) Peter Davies (USC)  

NB.  JCU - James Cook University, GU - Griffith University, UQ - The University of Queensland, USQ - University of Southern Queensland, USC - University of the Sunshine Coast.

Postgraduate Award for Excellence in Soil Science
The postgraduate award is for students who have conducted post graduate work by research at a university in Queensland, in the field of Soil Science.  Each university campus is invited to nominate high calibre canditate/s.  A judging panel, selected by the Branch, examines the theses submitted and decides  who should receive the award.  The award prize includes a cash prize, a book prize, one year’s membership to Soil Science Australia and a certificate.

Recent winners are:

2012 Dr Karuna Shrestha (Central Queensland University) “Characterisation and potential uses of microbially enhanced compost extracts in crop production”
2007 Dr Cara Beal (University of Queensland)"The hydrology of septic tank - soil absorption systems: investigation and prediction of hydraulic failure"
2005 Dr Cameron Wearing (University of Queensland) "Sodicity and soil microstructure"
2004 Dr Peter Kopittke (University of Queensland) "Limitations to plant root growth in highly saline and alkaline bauxite residue"
2003 Dr Michael Donn (University of Queensland) "Influence of soil chemical properties on the accumulation of nitrate in deep subsoils"
2002 Dr Peter Larsen (University of Queensland) "Dynamics of amelioration of aluminium toxicity and base deficiency by organic materials in highly weathered acid soils"
2001 Dr Gary Sheridan (University of Queensland) "Predicting hillslope scale erodibility and erosion on disturbed landscapes from laboratory scale measurements"
2000 Dr Robin Connolly (University of Queensland) "Improved methodology for simulating infiltration in soil-crop systems"
1999 Dr Claire Cote (James Cook University)
1998 Dr Jason Olsen (University of Queensland) "The role of mycorrhizal networks in the phosphorus nutrition of intensively-grown vegetable crops"
1994 Dr Steven Raine (University of Queensland) "The energies of dispersion and their relationships to soil physical properties"

STAQ Science Contest Prize
In previous years the Branch has encouraged school students to get involved in soil science by providing prizes at the Science Teachers Association of Queensland (STAQ) Science Contest.  Each year a couple of keen ASSSI Queensland Branch members head off to the contest to choose the winners.  The quality and quantity of soil science related projects at the contest has waxed and waned over the years, but there have always been at least a couple of suitable prize winners.

2012 - 1st: Ryall Barrett of Mudgeeraba Creek State School ‘Plant identification and classification’ (Yr 2-3 Category)
2011 - 1st: Tanya Sinha "Plants and Genetics" (Yr P-1), 2nd Rebecca Bajarovski "The effects of gradient variation on soil porosity, compaction and plant abundance" (Yr 11-12)
2010- 1st: Tessa Helman "Wetlands" (Yr 8-9) = 2nd: Paul Ku "Investigating methods for extracting zinc (II) ions (Yr 11-12)
2008 - 1st: Sarah Edgerton "Seed growth in different mediums" (Yr 8-9), 2nd: Sarah Shultz "How healthy is Bonogin Creek?" (Yr 4-5), Tom Fitton "Feeding plants" (Prep-Yr 1), Victoria Geyer "Organic manures as fertilizers for sunflower" (Yr 4-5), Rachel James "Seed growing material" (Yr 8-9)
2007 - 1st: Kaitlyn Shultz "Sustainable farm model" (Yr 4-6), 2nd: Kelvin Choi "The effects of salinity" (Yr 7-8)
2006 - 1st: Victoria Geyer "Is grey water good for the grass?" (Prep-Yr 3), Tiahne Ward "Can earthworms be used to recycle kitchen wastes into fertile garden soil?" (Yr 4-6), 2nd: Tiffany Edwards "Salinity salt kills" (Yr 4-6), Stephanie Parsons "The effect of washing up detergents on radish growth" (Yr 4-6)
2005 - 1st: Tiahne Ward "Do soil micro-organisms affect plant growth" (Yr 4-6), 2nd: Xin Fang "Chitin from crustaceans - a wasted resource?" (Yr 11-12)
2004 - 1st: Tiahne Ward "Do earthworms effect the pH levels in garden soils" (Yr 4-6), 2nd: Victoria Geyer "Where will sunflowers grow?" (Prep-Yr3), 3rd: Megan Cate "Percentage nitrogen in fertilisers" (Yr 11-12)
2003 - 1st: Richard Bentley "Combating salinity" (Yr 9-10), Nathan Wallwork "An investigation into the reduction of soil water erosion using the plant Aptenia cordifolia (creeping pigface)" (Yr 7-8), 2nd: David Bell "The observation and modification of the effect of soil salinity on the growth and fruiting of cherry tomatoes" (Yr 9-10), 3rd: Daniela Tierney "How does grey water affect plants?" (Yr 4-6)
2002 - 1st: Nathan Wallwork "An investigation into the effect of soil acidity on plants in natural bushland" (Yr 4-6), 2nd: Tracey Kidcaff "Factors affecting dung beetle populations" (Yr 11-12), 3rd: Adrian Duffey "Moisture loss in soil - does mulch prevent loss?" (Yr 7-8), Jordan Laney "Beach erosion" (Yr 4-6)
2001 - tbc
2000 - Highly Commended: Christopher Zischke "The effect of salinity on germination and growth of sweet corn" (Yr 11-12), Aleisha McConaghy "Radish production" (Yr 9-10), Peter McCall "Best fertilisers for tomatoes" (Yr 9-10)

Webmaster Login

Soil Science Australia


Soil Science Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that serves as the peak body for soil scientists across Australia, and seeks to advance soil science in the professional, academic and technical fields.  It is a member of the International Union of Soil Sciences



Visit Awards Page or download application forms below

J.A. Prescott Medal of Soil Science

J.K. Taylor, OBE, Gold Medal in Soil Science

Australian Society of Soil Science Inc Publication Medal

C.G. Stephens PhD Award in Soil Science

L.J.H Teakle Award


 Federal Office

  PO Box 737 Prospect East 5082

 0476 450 321