This is a past event
Associate Professor Lisa Lobry de Bruyn, who is visiting from Australia and will give a talk titled "Soil governance in Australia and the priorities for engagement with farmers"
Associate Professor Lisa Lobry de Bruyn will discuss the current state of soil governance in Australia, alongside the recently released National Soil Strategy and debate how knowledge exchange on sustainable soil management is progressing. The need to maintain a healthy and functioning soil that is resilient and less vulnerable to climate change and land degradation is an ever-present goal. Yet to achieve this goal requires a critical mass of soil scientists who can effectively undertake research and more importantly people who can communicate such knowledge to farmers so that soil is protected through the use of landscape-appropriate practices. Decades of government de-investment and privatisation have led to a diminished and fragmented workforce that is distant from, rather than part of, the rural community, and farmers are also increasingly isolated with few functional social networks for knowledge exchange. Is it possible to chart a course that can see this decline in expertise and local soil knowledge corrected, and restore to it vitality and legitimacy?
Dr Lisa Lobry de Bruyn began her career examining the role of soil biota in shaping soil and its functionality. Over the years her research gaze shifted to understand how local soil knowledge, held by practitioners, can shape their understanding and management of soil. This involved blending qualitative and quantitative research paradigms and adopting a participative, action research model for investigating landholders’ understanding of soil health, and the ramifications for monitoring land condition. Finally, as an educator she strives to improve how we share soil information and build genuine partnerships with land managers, and advisors so that sustainable land management and soil use is possible. She is based at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW, Australia where she is a researcher and educator in equal parts.