Balwant Singh
Associate Professor in Soil Science

Faculty of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: (+61 2) 9351 2237
Fax: (+61 2) 9351 2945
www: Balwant Singh

PhD Soil chemistry and mineralogy, University of Western Australia, 1991.

MSc Soil Science, Haryana Agricultural University, India, 1980.

B.Sc. (Hons) Agr, Haryana Agricultural University, India, 1980.

  • 2006-Present: Associate Professor, The University of Sydney
  • 2006: Visiting Research Scientist, Purdue University
  • 2001-2005: Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney
  • 2000: Visiting Research Fellow, University of Western Australia
  • 1998-2000: Lecturer, The University of Sydney
  • 1993-1998: Lecturer/Research Fellow, University of Reading
  • 1990-1993: Assistant Scientist, Haryana Agricultural University
  • 1980-1986: Assistant Scientist, Haryana Agricultural University
  • Research area: Soil chemistry and mineralogy
  • Research interests:
    - mineral structure and chemical reactions of Fe oxides;
    - mineral structure and chemical reactions of kaolinite;
    - chemical and mineralogical properties of highly weathered soils;
    - chemical reactions of heavy metals in soils;
    - bioavailability of heavy metals in contaminated environments;
    - potassium availability in relation to soil mineralogy; and
    - role of biochar in soil fertility.
  • Soil2003, Soil Properties and Processes: First semester
  • Soil2004, The Soil Resource: First semester
  • Soil3009, Contemporary Field and Lab Soil Science: First semester
  • Soil3010, The Soil at Work: Second semester

Balwant is an active member of several professional societies including Australian Society of Soil Science, British Society of Soil Science, Mineralogical Society of Great Britain, Clay Minerals Society and American Chemical Society. He has been President, Vice-President and Executive Member of the Australian Soil Science Society, NSW Branch. He chairs the Advisory Board of the Australian Journal of Soil Research and he has been a member of Committee EV/9 (contaminated soils) of Standard Australia since 1999.

  • Mechanisms of heavy metals sequestration and immobilization by goethite in multi-element environments
  • Micro-PIXE localisation of As in two hyper-accumulating ferns grown in contrasting soils contaminated with arsenic
  • Heavy metal(loid) accumulating plants: ecophysiology and potential for phytoremediation
  1. Kachenko A G, Bhatia N P, Singh B and Siegele R (2007). Arsenic hyperaccumulation and localization in the pinnule and stipe tissues of the gold-dust fern (Pityrogramma calomelanos (L.) Link var. austroamericana (Domin) Farw.) using quantitative micro-PIXE spectroscopy. Plant and Soil 300, 207-219.
  2. Markus Gräfe, Balwant Singh and M. Balasubramaniam (2007). Surface speciation of Cd(II) and Pb(II) on kaolinite by XAFS spectroscopy. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 315, 21–32.
  3. Kachenko, A.G., Singh, Balwant and Bhatia, N.P. (2007). Heavy metal tolerance in common fern species. Australian Journal of Botany 55, 63–73.
  4. Mustafa, G., Kookana, R.S., and Singh, Balwant (2006). Desorption of cadmium from goethite: effect of pH, temperature and aging. Chemosphere 64, 856-865.
  5. Kachenko, A.G. and Singh, Balwant (2006). Heavy metals contamination in vegetables grown in urban and metal smelter contaminated sites in Australia. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 169, 101-123.
  6. Nursita, A.I., Singh, Balwant and Lees, E. (2005). The effects of cadmium on population, growth and cadmium accumulation of Prisotoma minuta in some Australian soils. Australasian Journal of Ecotoxicology 11, 73-83.
  7. Pirie, A., Singh, B. and Islam, K. (2005). Ultra-violet, visible, near-infrared and mid-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopic techniques to predict several soil properties. Australian Journal of Soil Research 43, 713-721.
  8. Islam, K, McBratney, A. and Singh, B. (2005). Rapid estimation of soil variability from convex hull biplot area of topsoil ultra-violet, visible and near-infrared diffuse reflectance spectra. Geoderma 128, 249-257.
  9. Srivastava, P., Singh, B. and Angove, M. (2005). Competitive adsorption behavior of heavy metals on kaolinite. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 290, 28-38.
  10. Nursita, A.I., Singh, Balwant and Lees, E. (2005). The effects of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc on the growth and reproduction of Prisotoma minuta Tullberg (Collembola). Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 60, 306-314.
  11. Banu, N.A., Singh, Balwant and Copeland, L. (2004). Soil microbial biomass and microbial availability in some soils from New South Wales, Australia. Australian Journal of Soil Research 42, 777-782.
  12. Bedrossian, S. and Singh, Balwant (2004). Potassium adsorption characteristics and potassium forms in some New South Wales soils in relation to early senescence in cotton. Australian Journal of Soil Research 42, 747-753.
  13. Mustafa, G., Singh, Balwant and Kookana, R.S. (2004). Cadmium adsorption and desorption behaviour on goethite at low equilibrium concentrations: effects of pH and index cations. Chemosphere 57, 1325-1333.
  14. Islam, K., Singh, B., and McBratney, A.B. (2003). Simultaneous estimation of several soil properties by ultra-violet, visible and near-infrared spectroscopy. Australian Journal of Soil Research 41, 1101-1114.
  15. Warren, G.P., Alloway, B.J., Lepp, N.W., Singh, B., Bochereau, F.J.M. and Penny, C. (2003). Field trials to assess the uptake of arsenic by vegetables from contaminated soils and soil remediation with iron oxides. The Science of Total Environment 311, 19-33.
  16. Huynh, T., Tong, A.R., Singh, B. and Kennedy, B.J. (2003). Cd-substituted goethites – A structural investigation by synchrotron X-ray diffraction. Clays & Clay Minerals 51, 397-402.
  17. Knowles, T.A. and Singh, B. (2003). Carbon storage in cotton soils of northern New South Wales. Australian Journal of Soil Research 41, 889-903.
  18. Singh, B., Odeh, I.O.A. and McBratney, A.B. (2003). Acid buffering capacity and potential acidification of cotton soils in northern New South Wales. Australian Journal of Soil Research 41, 875-888.
  19. Singh, B., Sherman, D.M., Gilkes, R.J., Wells, M. and Mosselmans, J.F.W. (2002) Incorporation of Cr, Mn and Ni into goethite (_-FeOOH): Mechanism from Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy. Clays Minerals 37, 639-649.
  20. R. D. Hart, St Pierre; T. G., Gilkes, R.J., Mckinley, A. J., Siradz, S. and Balwant Singh (2002). Iron in soil kaolins from Indonesia and Western Australia. Clays Minerals 37, 671-685.
  21. Formosa, L and Singh, Balwant (2002). Spatial variability of ammonium and nitrate in soils near a poultry farm. Environmental Pollution 120, 659-669.
  22. Melo, V.F., Schaefer, C.E.G.R., Novais, R.F., Singh, B. and Fontes, M.P.F. (2002). Potassium and magnesium in clay minerals of some Brazilian soil as indicated by a sequential extraction procedure. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 33 (13&14), 2203-2225.
  23. Melo, V. F., Novais, R. F., Schaefer, C. E. G. R., Fontes, M. P. F. and Singh, B. (2002). Mineralogia das fra��es areia, silte e argila de sedimentos do Grupo Barreiras no munic�pio de Aracruz, estado do Esp�rito Santo. [Portuguese] Revista Brasileira de Ciencia do Solo 26(1), 29-41.
  24. Singh, B. and Heffernan, S. (2002). Layer charge characteristics of smectites from Vertosols (Vertisols) of New South Wales. Australian Journal of Soil Research 40, 1159-1170.
  25. Hart, R.D., Gilkes, R.J., Siradz, S. and Singh, Balwant (2002). The nature of soil kaolins from Indonesia and Western Australia. Clays & Clay Minerals 50, 198-209.
  26. Singh, B. (2001). Heavy metals in soils: sources, chemical reactions and forms. In: Environmental Geotechnics (eds. D. Smith, S. Fityus & M. Allman). Proc. of the 2nd Australia and New Zealand Conference on Environmental Geotechnics- Geoenvironment 2001. Australian Geomechanical Society, Newcastle, Australia.
  27. Jobstmann, H. and Singh, B. (2001). Cadmium sorption by hydroxy interlayered aluminium montmorillonite. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 131, 203-215.
  28. Melo, V. F. Fontes, M. P. F. Novais, R. F. Singh, B. Schaefer, C. E. G. R. (2001). Characteristics of iron and aluminium oxides of different classes of soils. [Portuguese] Revista Brasileira de Ciencia do Solo 25(1), 19-32.
  29. V.F. Melo, B. Singh, C.E.G.R. Schaefer, R.F. Novais, and M.P.F. Fontes (2001). Chemical and mineralogical Properties of kaolinite-rich Brazilian soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 65, 1324-1333.
  30. Kennedy, F., Rowell, D., Moffat, A.J. and Singh, B. (2001). An analysis of the structure of the simple mass balance equation: implications for testing national critical loads. Water, Air and Soil Pollution: Focus, 1, 281-298.
  31. Singh, B., Sherman, D.M., Gilkes, R.J., Wells, M. and Mosselmans, J.F.W. (2000) Structural chemistry of Fe, Mn and Ni in synthetic hematites as determined by EXAFS spectroscopy. Clays & Clay Minerals 48, 521-527.
  32. Singh, B., Alloway, B.J. and F.J.M. Bochereau. (2000). Cadmium sorption behaviour of natural and synthetic zeolites. Communications in Soil Science & Plant Analysis 31, 2775-2786.
  33. Alloway, B; Warren, G, Lepp, N., Singh, B., Bocherau, F. and Penny, C. (2000). The use of adsorptive minerals to reduce the uptake of arsenic and cadmium by food crops from contaminated soils. In: Contaminated Soil 2000. Proceedings of the 7th International FZK/TNO Conference on Contaminated Soil 18-22 September 2000, Leipzig, Germany. Volume 2, pp 1060-1067. Thomas Telford, London, UK.
  34. Alloway, B; Warren, G, Lepp, N., Singh, B., Bocherau, F., Gregory, L., Dourado, A. and Penny, C. (2000). Minimizing the risk of heavy metal exposure from contaminated soil by reducing bioavailability using adsorptive minerals and selected garden vegetables. In: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic and Mining Areas (Eds. W. Burghardt and Dornauf, C.), Essen, Germany. 12-18 July 2000. pp. 765-769. University of Essen, Essen. ISBN 3-922602-79-7.
  35. Osei, B.A. and Singh, B. (1999). Electrophoretic mobility of some tropical soil clays: effect of iron oxides and organic matter. Geoderma 93, 325-334.
  36. Singh, B., Merrington, G., Wilson, M.J., McHardy, W.J. and Fraser, A.R. (1999). Mineralogy and chemistry of ochre sediments near a disused mine in Cornwall, UK. Clay Minerals 34, 301-317.