Ivan R. Kennedy
Professor in Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry

Contact details

Ivan Kennedy graduated from the University of Western Australia in the 1960s and has been employed by the University of Sydney since 1968. He has also worked at the Universities of Leicester, Purdue, Nice, Leiden, Oxford (Pembroke College), Paris (Institut Pasteur), Shandong, Utrecht, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on fellowships, sabbatical leave or collaborative research projects. He has held a Personal Chair in Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry at the University of Sydney since 1995, where he has supervised 35 PhD and MSc postgraduate students, including 30 completed PhDs and masters degrees. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, was appointed as Visiting Professor in the University of Paris (Institut Pasteur) in 1993 and organised the 8th International Symposium on Nitrogen Fixation with Non-Legumes in 2000.

Kennedy's main area of research and teaching can be summarised as rural environmental chemistry with a strong microbiological emphasis such as in the SUNFix Centre for Nitrogen Fixation. His main interest currently is the study of action in ecosystems, as a fundamental thermodynamic theory that transcends disciplines, with strong implications for sustaining the earth's biosphere. In the Asian region, he has many collaborators in China, Vietnam and Indonesia, working on IDP, ACIAR, FAO, AusAID and DIFD-funded projects. He aims to continue productive collaboration with this region, with a view to encouraging all kinds of sustainable environmental action, in the planetary interest.

Kennedy's research interests have been achieved in a number of collaborative enterprises, with more than $5million of personal competitive funding since 1990. He has published four sole author books and edited five others with an international profile, covering topics such as biological nitrogen fixation, acidification of ecosystems, freeing agricultural produce and the environment of pesticide residues, inoculant biofertilisers and action in ecosystems.

  • Biological nitrogen fixation
  • Environmental fate of pesticides
  • Action in ecosystems

Ivan Kennedy has some 300 research publications including 100 refereed papers in international journals or book chapters and nine books.


  1. *Kennedy, I.R. Acid Soil and Acid Rain: The Impact on the Environment of Nitrogen and Sulphur Cycling, 234 pages, Research Studies Press/John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0 86380 043 2, Chichester, U.K., 1986.
  2. Murrell, W.G., Kennedy, I.R. Microbiology in Action, Edited jointly with W.G. Murrell, 356 pages, Research Studies Press/John Wiley and Sons, U.K., ISBN 0 471 91827 X, Chichester, U.K., 1988.
  3. *Kennedy, I.R. Acid Soil and Acid Rain, 254 pages, Research Studies Press/John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0 471 93404 6, Taunton, Somerset, U.K., 2nd Edition, 1992.
  4. Nie, Y.F., Kennedy, I.R. and Chen, T.W. International Symposium on Nitrogen Fixation with Non-leguminous Crops, edited volume, 166 pages, ISBN 7-81026-620-9, Qingdao Ocean University Press, Qingdao, China, 1994.
  5. Kennedy, I.R., Harris, R., Sanchez-Bayo, F., Kimber, S., Southan, S., Hugo, L., Lee, N.J., Wang, S. and Caldwell, R.A. Cotton Pesticides in Perspective. CRC for Sustainable Cotton Production, ISBN 1-86451-306-3, Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, 1997.
  6. Kennedy, I.R. and Cocking, E.C. (1997) Biological Nitrogen Fixation: The Global Challenge and Future Needs, ISBN 1-86451-364-7, 83 pages, SUNFix Press, University of Sydney.
  7. Kennedy, I.R., Skerritt, J.H., Johnson, G.I. and Highley, E. eds. (1998) Seeking Agricultural Produce Free of Pesticide Residues ISBN 1 86320 227 7, ACIAR Proceedings No. 85, 406 pages.
  8. *Kennedy, I.R. Action in Ecosystems: Biothermodynamics for Sustainability. Research Studies Press, 251 pages, Baldock, UK, 2001.
  9. Kennedy, I.R. and Choudhury, A.T.M.A. eds., Biofertilisers in Action ISBN 0 642 58485 0, RIRDC 02/86, 135 pages, Barton ACT, 2002.

*Sole author books

He regards his ten most significant research publications as:

  1. Kennedy, I.R. (1966) Primary products of symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Short-term exposures of serradella nodules to 15N2. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 130, 285-94.
  2. Kennedy, I.R. (1966) Primary products of symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Pulse-labelling of serradella nodules with 15N2. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 130, 295-303.
  3. Kennedy, I.R., Rigaud, J. and Trinchant, J.C. (1975) Nitrate reductase from bacteroids of Rhizobium japonicum. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 397, 24-35.
  4. Kennedy, I.R. (1983) 'Action and entropy in a neurological disorder', in Molecular Aspects of Neurological Disorders, P.L. Jeffrey and L. Austin, eds.,pp. 147-50, Academic Press, Sydney.
  5. Kennedy I.R. and Tchan Y.T. (1992) Biological nitrogen fixation in non-leguminous field crops: Recent advances. Plant and Soil 141, 93-118.
  6. Kennedy, I.R., Pereg-Gerk, Lily L., Wood, Craig, Deaker, Rosalind, Gilchrist, Kate and Katupitiya, Sunietha (1997) Biological nitrogen fixation in non-leguminous field crops: Facilitating the evolution of an effective association between Azospirillum and wheat. Plant and Soil 194, 65-79.
  7. Kennedy, I.R. (2000) Action as a dynamic property of the genotype x environment interaction: Implications for biotechnology. Acta Biotechnologica 20, 351-368.
  8. Kennedy, I.R., Sanchez-Bayo, F., Kimber, S.W., Hugo, L., and Ahmad, N. (2001) Off-site movement of endosulfan from irrigated cotton in New South Wales. Journal of Environmental Quality 30, 683-696.
  9. Lee, N.A. and Kennedy, I.R. (2001) Environmental monitoring of pesticides by immunochemical techniques: Validation, current status, and future perspectives. Journal Association Official Analytical Chemistry 84, 1393-1406.
  10. Shivaramaiah H.M., Odeh I.O.A., Kennedy I.R. and Skerritt, J.H (2002) Mapping the Distribution of DDT Residues as DDE in the Soils of the Irrigated Regions of Northern New South Wales, Australia Using ELISA and GIS. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry 50, 5360-5367.