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Dr Mark Farrell

Principal Research Scientist


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Dr Mark Farrell leads research into carbon and nitrogen cycling in soils and the wider environment, with national and international impact. Having over 15 years of experience in a range of agricultural and natural systems, he works from the mechanistic to system scale. Funded by numerous national and local stakeholders (including GRDC, CRDC, DCCEEW, Forestry Corporation NSW, and SAGIT), Mark’s work seeks to find management solutions underpinned by sound mechanistic understanding to improve productivity whilst limiting and reducing impact on the soil and wider environment. He uses a range of analytical techniques including both stable- and radio-isotopes, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry and rapid optical (mid/near-infrared spectroscopy) techniques to quantify source, fate, and quality of carbon and nitrogen through agricultural and environmental systems. He collaborates widely with agronomists, ecologists, and modellers to achieve impact beyond discipline-specific advances.

Mark’s current research includes national projects to quantify soil carbon stocks and its drivers of change, improved process understanding of soil nitrogen dynamics and integration of this new knowledge into agricultural system models, and identifying opportunities to improve soil health and resilience through the targeted adoption of mixed-species cover crops in dryland systems.

Current Roles

  • Team Leader

  • Project Leader
    Soil organic carbon monitoring (SOC-M) (DCCEEW)

  • Project Leader - CSIRO
    Predicting nitrogen cycling and losses in Australian cropping systems (GRDC)

  • Team member
    Microbiomes for one system health (MOSH FSP)

Academic Qualifications

  • 2009

    The University of Wales, Bangor

  • 2004

    BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
    The University of Wales, Bangor

Achievements and Awards

  • 2021-present

    British Society of Soil Science

  • 2017-2019

    Thomas Davies Research Award
    Australian Academy of Sciences

  • 2014-2017

    Julius Career Award

  • 2014-2014

    Young Scientist
    CSIRO Land & Water

Other highlights

  • 2017-2019

    Chair - 7th International Symposium on Soil Organic Matter

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2023-present

    Chair - Biological Sciences Panel, CSIRO Julius Career Awards

  • 2021-present

    Deputy Editor - Soil Chemistry, European Journal of Soil Science

  • 2015-present

    Associate Editor, Soil Research

  • 2019-2022

    Panel member - CSIRO Julius Career Awards committee

We have publications by Dr Mark Farrell

    Published data & software

    We have published items by Dr Mark Farrell