Associate Professor Stephen Cattle
I love soil! I try to understand how soil is formed and its properties.
My research interests are centered on æolian dust as a soil-forming factor in NSW, and on soil structural properties of shrink-swell clay soils (Vertosols) used for irrigated cotton production. My æolian research has recently explored methods for detecting dust accessions to topsoils in semi-arid districts of NSW, the features of contemporary dust deposits and dust deposition rates in these areas, and the contribution of mining activities to dust generation and deposition. The dust storms that swept across New South Wales (including Sydney) in September 2009 were a great example of why æolian dust should not be overlooked as a significant soil forming parent material in this country. The ongoing work on the structural and other physical features of Vertosols has been supported by the Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre; specifically investigating issues such as the impact of lime and gypsum blends on the structural stability of Vertosols, and the use of commercially-available organic amendments to improve Vertosol health and crop production. For both of these research interests, fieldwork has been conducted in the Lachlan and Macquarie River valleys of southern and central NSW.
Stephen Cattle graduated from The University of Sydney with a BScAgr (Hons I) in 1991 and a PhD in Soil Science in 1995. In 1996 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Agricultural Chemistry & Soil Science, and in 1997 he accepted a lectureship in soil science in the Faculty of Agriculture.
Between January 2002 and June 2003, Stephen was the Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies (BScAgr, BHortSc, BLWSc, BAnimSc degrees) for the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. From July 2008 until present, he has been the Associate Dean (Teaching & Learning) in the FAFNR. He has taught in nearly all undergraduate soil science units since 1997, and is currently the coordinator of SOIL2004, The Soil Resource.
Stephen has been a member of the Australian Soil Science Society Inc. (ASSSI) since 1991, and served as the Society’s Federal President for the 2007-2008 term. For the period August 2010 – July 2014, Stephen will be the Chair of the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS) Commission for Soil Education and Public Awareness. In recent years he has presented papers at soil science/dust research conferences in Palmerston North (New Zealand), Santa Rosa (Argentina) and Brisbane (Australia).
- Cattle, S.R. & Southorn, N.J. (2010) Macroporosity of pasture topsoils after three years of set-stocked and rotational grazing by sheep. Australian Journal of Soil Research 48, 43–57.
- Cattle, S.R., Greene, R.S.B. & McPherson, A.A. (2009) The role of climate and local regolith-landscape processes in determining the pedological characteristics of æolian dust deposits across south-eastern Australia. Quaternary International 209, 95–106.
- Greene, R.S.B., Cattle, S.R. & McPherson, A.A. (2009) Role of eolian dust deposits in landscape development and soil degradation in southeastern Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 56, S55–S65.
- Viscarra-Rossel, R.A., Cattle, S.R., Ortega, A. & Fouad, Y. (2009) In situ measurements of soil colour, mineral composition and clay content by vis-NIR spectroscopy. Geoderma 150, 253–266.
- Cattle, S.R., McTainsh, G.H. & Elias, S. (2009) Æolian dust deposition rates, particle-sizes and contributions to soils along a transect in semi-arid New South Wales, Australia. Sedimentology 56, 765–783.
- Wagner, S., Cattle, S.R. & Scholten, T. (2007) Soil-aggregate formation as influenced by clay content and organic-matter amendment. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 170(1) pp 173-180.
- Ryan, A.L. & Cattle, S.R. (2006) Do sand dunes of the lower Lachlan floodplain contain the same dust that produced parna?. Australian Journal of Soil Research 44, 769–781.
- Field, D.J., Sullivan, L.A., Cattle, S.R. & Koppi, A.J. (2004) Comparison of four methods for liberating various aggregate fractions in Vertosols to study their morphology. Australian Journal of Soil Research 42, 29–37.
- Cattle, S.R., Meakin, S.N., Ruszkowski, P. & Cameron, R.G. (2003) Using radiometric data to identify æolian dust additions to topsoil of the Hillston district, western NSW. Australian Journal of Soil Research 41, 1439-1456.
- Vervoort, R.W., Cattle, S.R. & Minasny, B. (2003) The hydrology of Vertosols used for cotton production: I. Hydraulic, structural and fundamental soil properties. Australian Journal of Soil Research 41, 1255-1272.