Dr Damien Field

Senior Lecturer in Global Soil Security & Soil Science Education, Chair IUSS Commission 4.4. Soil Science Education and Public Awareness, SSEAC Executive Research Training, Coordinator Professional Development & eLearning, Department of Environmental Sciences

C81 - ATP - The Biomedical Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 8627 1138
Fax +61 2 8627 1099

Biographical details

Damien's career began with completing Bachelor of Science majoring in soil science and a PhD concentrating on soil structure affected by cotton production. He was appointed as a research fellow for the Australian Cotton CRC working on analytical methods that were incorporated into Decision Support Systems used in the cotton industry. He then took on the role of the Coordinator of Laboratory and Field Work teaching at the University of Sydney and then accepted the role of Associate Dean, Postgraduate Studies, for this Faculty. In addition to his current position as senior lecturer he is seconded as the Academic Director eLearning for the Science, Business and Technology cluster to the DVC Education. While in this role Damien has completed a Master of Education (Higher Education). Using this and his experiences in teaching Damien consistently works with colleagues to develop innovative and exciting teaching and learning activities for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. He has received competitive grants to develop new approaches to education including developing a national curriculum for soil science. He has co-supervised both undergraduate and postgraduate students' research in areas such as: soil structure and function, soil carbon dynamics and soil biology, the interface between applied soil physics and agronomy and land use rehabilitation, and archaeology

Research interests

I believe in integrating good science to solve the real-world problems challenging agriculture and the environment. This is demonstrated by my research in three soil-related themes, being; what is the role of soil security in addressing some of the existential global sustainability challenges we are facing, how can models of the soil, including soil structure, be developed to assess the soil’s functionality that will benefit the communities working with it, and the fundamental question of how to assess the energy involved in soil aggregation affecting soil structure in agroecosystems. I am also passionate about education and believe that the linking of good research with teaching and the involvement of the community can promote an environment where students can actively engage in ‘real-world’ problems.

My research raises questions on how various soil functions affect and support both agriculture and the surrounding environment. To do this I have worked with fellow researchers within and outside of the University to develop protocols to assess soil functions such as; soil structural stability, the intrinsic energy of soil aggregation, and a focus on modeling the relationships between soil structure, soil carbon and soil biology. My curiosity in this research is inspired by the need to address 'real-world' problems and my willingness to listen to the needs and attitudes of the community. Using this approach I believe we can develop relevant and practical protocols that are of interest to those concerned.

I also have a strong interest in developing the Faculty’s teaching and learning curriculum, both for undergraduates and postgraduates. I have achieved this by researching and mapping the desired skills, attributes, discipline knowledge and graduate outcomes, which are then embedded into the curriculum using innovative teaching methods. This has been supported by a number of small and large teaching grants, including Australian Learning and Teaching Council funding towards a National Curriculum (report; http://www.olt.gov.au/resource-national-soil-science-curriculum-response-needs-students-academic-staff-industry-and-wider-). This research has resulted in collaborations with 5 of Australia’s leading Universities, and subsequent collaborations with Texas A&M in the USA and Universities in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

Themes

Climate Change; Soil Security

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2013

  • Enhancing human capacity for soil knowledge transfer and decision making for a sustainable grains industry; McBratney A, Field D, Young I; Grains Research and Development Corporation/Research Support.
  • Understanding food insecurity in the northern uplands of Lao PDR from a resource management and livelihoods perspectives; Field D; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)/Research and Development Programs.

2012

  • Investigating the energy relationship in soil aggregation as a focus for cross-institutional research and research training; Field D, Minasny B, Zhu Z; DVC International/IPDF Grant.

2009

  • 2nd Annual Stepping Out with Fresh Ideas Conference; Field D, Cattle S; Grains Research and Development Corporation/Travel Support.
  • A national soil science curriculum in response to the needs of the students, academic staff, industry and wider community; McBratney A, Field D; Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC)/Priority Projects Program.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • McBratney, A., Stockmann, U., Angers, D., Minasny, B., Field, D. (2014). Challenges for Soil Organic Carbon Research. In Alfred E. Hartemink & Kevin McSweeney (Eds.), Soil Carbon, (pp. 3-16). New York: Springer.
  • Singh, B., Cattle, S., Field, D. (2014). Edaphic Soil Science, Introduction to. In Neal K Van Alfen (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, (pp. 35-58). Netherlands: Elsevier.

Journals

  • Dorji, T., Odeh, I., Field, D., Baillie, I. (2014). Digital soil mapping of soil organic carbon stocks under different land use and land cover types in montane ecosystems, Eastern Himalayas. Forest Ecology and Management, 318, 91-102. [More Information]
  • McBratney, A., Field, D., Koch, A. (2014). The dimensions of soil security. Geoderma, 213, 203-213. [More Information]
  • Hartemink, A., Balks, M., Chen, Z., Drohan, P., Field, D., Krasilnikov, P., Lowe, D., Rabenhorst, M., Van Rees, K., Schad, P., et al (2014). The joy of teaching soil science. Geoderma, 217-218, 1-9.
  • Cattle, S., Field, D. (2013). A review of the soil science research legacy of the triumvirate of cotton CRC. Crop and Pasture Science, 64(11-12), 1076-1094. [More Information]
  • Daynes, C., Field, D., Saleeba, J., Cole, M., McGee, P. (2013). Development and stabilisation of soil structure via interactions between organic matter, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant roots. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 57, 683-694. [More Information]
  • Koch, A., McBratney, A., Adams, M., Field, D., Hill, R., Crawford, J., Minasny, B., Lal, R., Abbott, L., O'Donnell, A., et al (2013). Soil Security: Solving the Global Soil Crisis. Global Policy, 4(4), 434-441. [More Information]
  • Stockmann, U., Adams, M., Crawford, J., Field, D., Henakaarchchi, N., Jenkins, M., Minasny, B., McBratney, A., De Remy De Courcelles, V., Singh, K., Wheeler, I., et al (2013). The knowns, known unknowns and unknowns of sequestration of soil organic carbon. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 164, 80-99. [More Information]
  • Jarrett, L., Field, D., Koppi, A. (2011). An Action Learning Approach to Changing Teaching Practice Using Group Reflection on Student and Graduate Feedback. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 19(1), 43-54.
  • Field, D., Koppi, A., Jarrett, L., Abbott, L., Cattle, S., Grant, C., McBratney, A., Menzies, N., Weatherley, A. (2011). Soil Science teaching principles. Geoderma, 167-168, 9-14. [More Information]
  • Koppi, A., Nolan, E., Field, D. (2010). Developing Transferable Research Skills in First Year Agricultural Economics Students. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 7(2), 1-19.
  • Zhu, Z., Field, D., Minasny, B. (2010). Measuring and modelling the actual energy involved in aggregate breakdown. Catena, 82(1), 53-60. [More Information]
  • Zhu, Z., Minasny, B., Field, D. (2009). Adapting technology for measuring soil aggregate dispersive energy using ultrasonic dispersion. Biosystems Engineering, 104(2), 258-265. [More Information]
  • Zhu, Z., Minasny, B., Field, D. (2009). Measurement of aggregate bond energy using ultrasonic dispersion. European Journal of Soil Science, 60, 695-705.
  • Malamoud, K., McBratney, A., Minasny, B., Field, D. (2009). Modelling how carbon affects soil structure. Geoderma, 149, 19-26. [More Information]
  • Conaty, W., Tan, D., Constable, G., Sutton, B., Field, D., Mamun, M. (2008). Agronomy & Soils Genetic Variation for Waterlogging Tolerance in Cotton. Journal of Cotton Science, 12, 53-61.
  • Field, D., Minasny, B. (2008). Comments on "Modeling Energy Inputs to Predict Pedogenic Environments Using Regional Environmental Databases". Soil Science Society of America Journal, 72(3), 858-859.
  • Minasny, B., McBratney, A., Field, D., Tranter, G., McKenzie, N., Brough, D. (2007). Relationships between field texture and particle-size distribution in Australia and their implications. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 45(6), 428-437.
  • Field, D., Minasny, B., Gaggin, M. (2006). Modelling aggregate liberation and dispersion of three soil types exposed to ultrasonic agitation. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 44(5), 497-502.
  • Minasny, B., Field, D. (2005). Estimating soil hydraulic properties and their uncertainty: the use of stochastic simulation in the inverse modelling of the evaporation method. Geoderma, 126(3-4), 277-290. [More Information]
  • Field, D., Sullivan, L., Cattle, S., Koppi, A. (2004). Comparison Of Four Methods For Liberating Various Aggregate Fractions In Vertosols To Study Their Morphology. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 42(1), 29-37.

Conferences

  • Minasny, B., McBratney, A., Field, D. (2013). Soil Structure Across Scales: The Energy of Soil Aggregation. ASA, CSSA and SSSA 2013 International Annual Meeting, Madison, USA: Soil Science Society of America.
  • McBratney, A., Field, D., Minasny, B. (2013). The multi-faceted nature of soil security. 11th International Conference of the East and Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies, Bogor, Indonesia: Indonesian Society of Soil Science.
  • Field, D., McBratney, A., Koppi, A. (2013). The Soil Science Core Body of Knowledge: Defining and Agreeing Up On It and Prognosticating How It Might Need to Change to Suit Society's Demands. ASA, CSSA and SSSA 2013 International Annual Meeting, Madison, USA: Soil Science Society of America.
  • Henakaarachchi, M., Field, D., McBratney, A. (2012). Finding an efficient way to measure soil organic carbon pools in soil carbon turnover models. 5th Joint Australian and New Zealand Soil Science Conference, Warragul, Victoria: Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated.
  • Issa, S., Vervoort, R., Field, D. (2012). Hydrologic and Geologic Integrated Study to Better Understand the Salinity Problems of the Mount Annan Area, Western Sydney, Australia. 34th Hydrology & Water Resources Symposium (HWRS2012), Sydney: Engineers Australia.
  • Field, D., Koppi, A., Jarrett, L., McBratney, A. (2012). Stakeholder suggestions for the soil science curriculum. 5th Joint Australian and New Zealand Soil Science Conference, Warragul, Victoria: Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated.
  • Minasny, B., Field, D., McBratney, A. (2012). The intrinsic energy of soil aggregates. 5th Joint Australian and New Zealand Soil Science Conference, Warragul, Victoria: Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated.
  • Jarrett, L., Field, D., Koppi, A., Kopittke, P., Abbott, L., Grant, C., McBratney, A., Menzies, N., Weatherley, T. (2011). Guidelines for Online Learning in Soil Science: A Synthesis of Ideas from Academics, Students and Employers. The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2011 (The 17th Annual UniServe Science Conference), Sydney, Australia: UniServe Science, University of Sydney.
  • Field, D., Koppi, A., McBratney, A. (2010). Producing the thinking soil scientist. 19th World Congress of Soil Science Soil solutions for a changing world, Australia: International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS).
  • Jarrett, L., Field, D., Koppi, A. (2010). Promoting Reflective Dialogue Through Group Analysis Of Student Feedback. 16th UniServe Science Annual Conference 2010, Sydney: University of Sydney.
  • Daynes, C., Field, D., Saleeba, J., Cole, P., McGee, P. (2010). Restoration of soil function requires plants, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and organic matter. 19th World Congress of Soil Science Soil solutions for a changing world, Australia: International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS).
  • Zhu, Z., Field, D., Minasny, B. (2010). The dynamics of aggregate breakdown as a function of dispersive energy. 19th World Congress of Soil Science Soil solutions for a changing world, Australia: International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS).
  • Koppi, A., Field, D., McBratney, A., Hartemink, A. (2010). The need for soil science amateurs. 19th World Congress of Soil Science Soil solutions for a changing world, Australia: International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS).
  • Terry, J., Tan, D., Hulugalle, N., Field, D., Weaver, T., Knox, O. (2008). Cotton yield and soil carbon under continuous cotton, cotton-corn, cotton-vetch-corn and cotton-wheat rotations. 14th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference, Gosford, Australia: The Regional Institute Ltd.
  • Luelf, N., Tan, D., Hulugalle, N., Knox, O., Weaver, T., Field, D. (2006). Root turnover and microbial biomass in cotton farming systems. 13th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference (13th ASA), Australia: The Regional Institute Ltd.
  • Field, D., Minasny, B., McBratney, A. (2004). Identifying The Interrelationship Between Soil Properties That Influence The Function Of The "Soil". Supersoil 2004, the 3rd Joint Conference of Australian and New Zealand Soil Science Societies, Sydney, Australia: The Regional Institute Ltd.
  • Field, D., Cattle, S. (2004). Identifying The Interrelationships Between Soil Properties Affecting The Surface Structural Stability Of Soil Used For Cotton Production. 7th International Conference on Precision Agriculture, Minneapolis, USA (June), : University of Melbourne.
  • Minasny, B., Field, D. (2004). Stochastic Inversion Of The Evaporation Method To Estimate Soil Hydraulic Properties. Eurosoil,, : University of Melbourne.

Report

  • Stockmann, U., Adams, M., Crawford, J., Field, D., Henakaarchchi, N., Jenkins, M., McBratney, A., De Remy De Courcelles, V., Singh, K., Wheeler, I. (2010). Managing the soil plant system to mitigate atmospheric CO2.

2014

  • McBratney, A., Stockmann, U., Angers, D., Minasny, B., Field, D. (2014). Challenges for Soil Organic Carbon Research. In Alfred E. Hartemink & Kevin McSweeney (Eds.), Soil Carbon, (pp. 3-16). New York: Springer.
  • Dorji, T., Odeh, I., Field, D., Baillie, I. (2014). Digital soil mapping of soil organic carbon stocks under different land use and land cover types in montane ecosystems, Eastern Himalayas. Forest Ecology and Management, 318, 91-102. [More Information]
  • Singh, B., Cattle, S., Field, D. (2014). Edaphic Soil Science, Introduction to. In Neal K Van Alfen (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, (pp. 35-58). Netherlands: Elsevier.
  • McBratney, A., Field, D., Koch, A. (2014). The dimensions of soil security. Geoderma, 213, 203-213. [More Information]
  • Hartemink, A., Balks, M., Chen, Z., Drohan, P., Field, D., Krasilnikov, P., Lowe, D., Rabenhorst, M., Van Rees, K., Schad, P., et al (2014). The joy of teaching soil science. Geoderma, 217-218, 1-9.

2013

  • Cattle, S., Field, D. (2013). A review of the soil science research legacy of the triumvirate of cotton CRC. Crop and Pasture Science, 64(11-12), 1076-1094. [More Information]
  • Daynes, C., Field, D., Saleeba, J., Cole, M., McGee, P. (2013). Development and stabilisation of soil structure via interactions between organic matter, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant roots. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 57, 683-694. [More Information]
  • Koch, A., McBratney, A., Adams, M., Field, D., Hill, R., Crawford, J., Minasny, B., Lal, R., Abbott, L., O'Donnell, A., et al (2013). Soil Security: Solving the Global Soil Crisis. Global Policy, 4(4), 434-441. [More Information]
  • Minasny, B., McBratney, A., Field, D. (2013). Soil Structure Across Scales: The Energy of Soil Aggregation. ASA, CSSA and SSSA 2013 International Annual Meeting, Madison, USA: Soil Science Society of America.
  • Stockmann, U., Adams, M., Crawford, J., Field, D., Henakaarchchi, N., Jenkins, M., Minasny, B., McBratney, A., De Remy De Courcelles, V., Singh, K., Wheeler, I., et al (2013). The knowns, known unknowns and unknowns of sequestration of soil organic carbon. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 164, 80-99. [More Information]
  • McBratney, A., Field, D., Minasny, B. (2013). The multi-faceted nature of soil security. 11th International Conference of the East and Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies, Bogor, Indonesia: Indonesian Society of Soil Science.
  • Field, D., McBratney, A., Koppi, A. (2013). The Soil Science Core Body of Knowledge: Defining and Agreeing Up On It and Prognosticating How It Might Need to Change to Suit Society's Demands. ASA, CSSA and SSSA 2013 International Annual Meeting, Madison, USA: Soil Science Society of America.

2012

  • Henakaarachchi, M., Field, D., McBratney, A. (2012). Finding an efficient way to measure soil organic carbon pools in soil carbon turnover models. 5th Joint Australian and New Zealand Soil Science Conference, Warragul, Victoria: Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated.
  • Issa, S., Vervoort, R., Field, D. (2012). Hydrologic and Geologic Integrated Study to Better Understand the Salinity Problems of the Mount Annan Area, Western Sydney, Australia. 34th Hydrology & Water Resources Symposium (HWRS2012), Sydney: Engineers Australia.
  • Field, D., Koppi, A., Jarrett, L., McBratney, A. (2012). Stakeholder suggestions for the soil science curriculum. 5th Joint Australian and New Zealand Soil Science Conference, Warragul, Victoria: Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated.
  • Minasny, B., Field, D., McBratney, A. (2012). The intrinsic energy of soil aggregates. 5th Joint Australian and New Zealand Soil Science Conference, Warragul, Victoria: Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated.

2011

  • Jarrett, L., Field, D., Koppi, A. (2011). An Action Learning Approach to Changing Teaching Practice Using Group Reflection on Student and Graduate Feedback. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 19(1), 43-54.
  • Jarrett, L., Field, D., Koppi, A., Kopittke, P., Abbott, L., Grant, C., McBratney, A., Menzies, N., Weatherley, T. (2011). Guidelines for Online Learning in Soil Science: A Synthesis of Ideas from Academics, Students and Employers. The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2011 (The 17th Annual UniServe Science Conference), Sydney, Australia: UniServe Science, University of Sydney.
  • Field, D., Koppi, A., Jarrett, L., Abbott, L., Cattle, S., Grant, C., McBratney, A., Menzies, N., Weatherley, A. (2011). Soil Science teaching principles. Geoderma, 167-168, 9-14. [More Information]

2010

  • Koppi, A., Nolan, E., Field, D. (2010). Developing Transferable Research Skills in First Year Agricultural Economics Students. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 7(2), 1-19.
  • Stockmann, U., Adams, M., Crawford, J., Field, D., Henakaarchchi, N., Jenkins, M., McBratney, A., De Remy De Courcelles, V., Singh, K., Wheeler, I. (2010). Managing the soil plant system to mitigate atmospheric CO2.
  • Zhu, Z., Field, D., Minasny, B. (2010). Measuring and modelling the actual energy involved in aggregate breakdown. Catena, 82(1), 53-60. [More Information]
  • Field, D., Koppi, A., McBratney, A. (2010). Producing the thinking soil scientist. 19th World Congress of Soil Science Soil solutions for a changing world, Australia: International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS).
  • Jarrett, L., Field, D., Koppi, A. (2010). Promoting Reflective Dialogue Through Group Analysis Of Student Feedback. 16th UniServe Science Annual Conference 2010, Sydney: University of Sydney.
  • Daynes, C., Field, D., Saleeba, J., Cole, P., McGee, P. (2010). Restoration of soil function requires plants, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and organic matter. 19th World Congress of Soil Science Soil solutions for a changing world, Australia: International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS).
  • Zhu, Z., Field, D., Minasny, B. (2010). The dynamics of aggregate breakdown as a function of dispersive energy. 19th World Congress of Soil Science Soil solutions for a changing world, Australia: International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS).
  • Koppi, A., Field, D., McBratney, A., Hartemink, A. (2010). The need for soil science amateurs. 19th World Congress of Soil Science Soil solutions for a changing world, Australia: International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS).

2009

  • Zhu, Z., Minasny, B., Field, D. (2009). Adapting technology for measuring soil aggregate dispersive energy using ultrasonic dispersion. Biosystems Engineering, 104(2), 258-265. [More Information]
  • Zhu, Z., Minasny, B., Field, D. (2009). Measurement of aggregate bond energy using ultrasonic dispersion. European Journal of Soil Science, 60, 695-705.
  • Malamoud, K., McBratney, A., Minasny, B., Field, D. (2009). Modelling how carbon affects soil structure. Geoderma, 149, 19-26. [More Information]

2008

  • Conaty, W., Tan, D., Constable, G., Sutton, B., Field, D., Mamun, M. (2008). Agronomy & Soils Genetic Variation for Waterlogging Tolerance in Cotton. Journal of Cotton Science, 12, 53-61.
  • Field, D., Minasny, B. (2008). Comments on "Modeling Energy Inputs to Predict Pedogenic Environments Using Regional Environmental Databases". Soil Science Society of America Journal, 72(3), 858-859.
  • Terry, J., Tan, D., Hulugalle, N., Field, D., Weaver, T., Knox, O. (2008). Cotton yield and soil carbon under continuous cotton, cotton-corn, cotton-vetch-corn and cotton-wheat rotations. 14th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference, Gosford, Australia: The Regional Institute Ltd.

2007

  • Minasny, B., McBratney, A., Field, D., Tranter, G., McKenzie, N., Brough, D. (2007). Relationships between field texture and particle-size distribution in Australia and their implications. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 45(6), 428-437.

2006

  • Field, D., Minasny, B., Gaggin, M. (2006). Modelling aggregate liberation and dispersion of three soil types exposed to ultrasonic agitation. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 44(5), 497-502.
  • Luelf, N., Tan, D., Hulugalle, N., Knox, O., Weaver, T., Field, D. (2006). Root turnover and microbial biomass in cotton farming systems. 13th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference (13th ASA), Australia: The Regional Institute Ltd.

2005

  • Minasny, B., Field, D. (2005). Estimating soil hydraulic properties and their uncertainty: the use of stochastic simulation in the inverse modelling of the evaporation method. Geoderma, 126(3-4), 277-290. [More Information]

2004

  • Field, D., Sullivan, L., Cattle, S., Koppi, A. (2004). Comparison Of Four Methods For Liberating Various Aggregate Fractions In Vertosols To Study Their Morphology. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 42(1), 29-37.
  • Field, D., Minasny, B., McBratney, A. (2004). Identifying The Interrelationship Between Soil Properties That Influence The Function Of The "Soil". Supersoil 2004, the 3rd Joint Conference of Australian and New Zealand Soil Science Societies, Sydney, Australia: The Regional Institute Ltd.
  • Field, D., Cattle, S. (2004). Identifying The Interrelationships Between Soil Properties Affecting The Surface Structural Stability Of Soil Used For Cotton Production. 7th International Conference on Precision Agriculture, Minneapolis, USA (June), : University of Melbourne.
  • Minasny, B., Field, D. (2004). Stochastic Inversion Of The Evaporation Method To Estimate Soil Hydraulic Properties. Eurosoil,, : University of Melbourne.

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