Blog icon

Ms Linda Karssies

Manager of the Australian National Soil Archive


Please enter a valid first name

Please enter a valid last name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message to send to the contact

Contact details:

GPO BOX 1700


Ms Karssies has a background in environmental and soil science and has performed a range of chemical and physical laboratory analyses on soil samples at CSIRO Land and Water as a Technical Officer.

While employed at the Bureau of Resource Sciences, Linda honed her literature research and writing skills as part of the Drought Exceptional Circumstances team.

As an Experimental Scientist at CSIRO Land and Water, she researched sediment transport processes in grass buffer strips. This work led to guidelines for riparian filterstrips for Queensland irrigators and contributed to the Riparian Land Management Technical Guidelines.

For the last ten years Ms Linda Karssies successfully set up the operating guidelines for the Australian National Soil Archive as well as managed the collection. In 2014 the move to another location with purpose-built compactus with 130,000 sample capacity was started.

The Australian National Soil Archive is a National Repository of historical soil samples collected by CSIRO soil scientists over a period of over 80 years. CSIRO Land and Water acts as a custodian of this asset and provides access to its unique collection for further research. In the last ten years 46 000 samples have been processed. The Australian National Soil Archive is regarded as the home of all soil samples of national significance.

Archived soil materials have already been of great value to soil scientists for a range of applications including:
•the establishment of conversion factors to compare formerly disparate data on organic matter
•a national review of sodic soils
•rapid assessment of the distribution of soil with toxic levels of boron
•development of indices for characterising self-mulching soils using Vertosols from all over Australia.

Currently the archive is being used by the rapid-soil measurement project which is using scanners (e.g. near infrared) to acquire spectra of the archive specimens. This allows correlation with traditional measurements and therefore rapid estimation of soil properties.

This can be used:
•on future field programs to reduce analytical costs and to fill in data on existing specimens
•to form a useful collection to calibrate any new measurement techniques (laboratory or otherwise).

Both the Terrestrial Ecosystems and Rangeland Network (TERN) program and the national Soil Carbon Research Programme (SCaRP) have nominated that they will lodge their collected soil specimens at the CSIRO National Soil Archive.

Current Roles

  • Archivist
    Provide facilities and protocols for conserving the long-term, scientific value of soil specimens and associated soil data, and making these specimens and their data available for public research, both now and into the future

  • CSIRO Laboratory Custodian
    Manage the practical aspects of mainaining and running the Soil Archive

Academic Qualifications

  • 1994

    Masters of Science, Physical Geography and Soil Science
    University of Amsterdam