Dr Peter Thorburn

Research Group Leader

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Biography

Dr Peter Thorburn an agricultural scientist with strong multidisciplinary interests in the dynamics of soil-plant interactions and a strong commitment to enhancing the sustainability of agricultural systems. With a background in soil science and plant physiology, his work focuses on developing and applying simulation models to understand soil and plant interactions in agricultural production systems, aiming to determine management systems that can reduce detrimental environmental impacts while, still continuing to produce significant economic and social outcomes in current and future climates. His research has won international awards and has had substantial policy impact.

Dr Thorburn is a Senior Principal Research Scientist within CSIRO's Agriculture and Food Business Unit. He is the CSIRO representative on the APSIM Imitative, the joint venture that owns the APSIM farming systems model. He also coordinates research on agriculture’s effect on the Great Barrier Reef across CSIRO’s Agriculture and Food Business Unit, and co-leads the strategic collaboration between CSIRO Agriculture and Food and AgResearch (New Zealand).

Dr Thorburn’s international activities include co-leading, with Professor Boote from the University of Florida, the Crop Modelling stream of the Agricultural Modeling Improvement and Intercomparison Program (AgMIP), an international collaboration with American and European institutions developing increased capacity for quantitatively assessing climate change impacts on global food security. He is also on the Science Advisory Group of New Zealand’s OVERSEER agricultural nutrient management model.

Current Roles

  • Regearch Group Leader
    Leading a multidisciplinary Group researching diverse aspects of farming systems, including optimising risk-return trade-offs in cropping and mixed crop-livestock production systems, improving pest and disease control, minimising environmental impacts.

  • CSIRO's representative on the APSIM Initiative
    Setting strategic direction in the Initiative to maximise the valuse delivered by APSIM.

Academic Qualifications

  • 1993

    PhD
    Flinders University

Professional Experiences

  • 2012-Present

    Senior Principal Research Scientist and Research Group Leader
    CSIRO Agriculture and Food and CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences

  • 2002-2012

    Principal Research Scientist and Research Group Leader
    CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems and CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences

  • 1996-2002

    Senior Research Scientist
    CSIRO Tropical Crops and Pastures and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems

Achievements and Awards

  • 2017-2017

    Director's Award for Collaboration, 2017 (Controlled Release Fertiliser Team)
    CSIRO Agriculture and Food

  • 2013-2013

    James E Truine Award for best agricultural paper (with Dr A Singels et al.) (28th Congress)
    International Society of Sugar Technologists

  • 2007-2007

    James E Truine Award for best agricultural paper (26th Congress)
    International Society of Sugar Technologists (78th Congress)

  • 2004-2004

    Kynoch Award for best agricultural paper (76th Congress)
    South African Sugar Technology Association

  • 2002-2002

    Kynoch Award for best agricultural paper
    South African Sugar Technology Association

Related links

Publications

We have publications by Dr Peter Thorburn