Soil Science Group


Dr Jianming Xue, Leader of the Soil Science Group

Jianming is a senior scientist at Scion. His areas of expertise are in integrated soil fertility and nutrient management, genetic and environmental control of resource use efficiency, the fate and transport of nutrient and contaminants in ecosystems, and reuse and land application of biowastes. His current research focusses on developing sustainable biowaste reuse solutions for improving soil quality and forest productivity with minimal environmental and ecological footprints. / +64 3 364 2987 ext 7826

Dr Brett Robinson

Brett is Professor of Environmental Chemistry in the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at the University of Canterbury. He works on the fluxes of chemicals in soils and plants with the aim of preventing contaminants from entering waterways or the food chain, and promoting nutrient uptake by plants. Brett’s goal in CIBR is the development of new methods to enable the reuse of biowastes and to protect waterways adjacent to lands that are receiving biowastes

Robyn Simcock

Robyn is an ecologist/soil scientist based at Landcare Research in Auckland. She has experience in land rehabilitation offering expertise in major mine, roading and dam projects. She has also worked in low impact urban design such as water sensitive design, greenroofs, bioretention and raingardens. She has a strong ecological research and environmental chemistry focus, concentrating on maintenance/management to achieve ecological benefits. / +64 9 574 4153

 Photo Vikki Ambrose

Vikki Ambrose

Vikki is a scientist at ESR. Her areas of expertise are microbiology, molecular biology and educational outsourcing. She has experience in pathogen contaminants in land applied solids, and survival and possible transmission of pathogens from sewage sludge to plant tissue, including lettuce and Pinus radiata. She also has experience in environmental virology, looking for viruses in water and shellfish. / +64 4 914 0663

Dr Maria Jesus Gutierrez Gines

Maria is a post-doctoral fellow at ESR. Her research aims to establish NZ native vegetation in degraded soils amended with biowaste. She seeks to discover which plant species benefit from biowaste application in low fertility soils in terms of growth and nutrient uptake; with low heavy metal uptake. Each species behave differently depending on soil type and the process of biowaste addition. That is why it is important to find the best combination of biowaste application and plant species to remediate specific degraded land.She is also investigating the development and behaviour of roots in heterogeneous distribution of biowaste in soil so guidelines about biowaste application in full scale operations can be suggested. / +64 4 914 0686

Dr Jürgen Esperschütz

Jürgen is a postdoctoral fellow at Lincoln University and has a background in microbial ecology, ecosystem development, aboveground – belowground plant interactions and stable isotope applications. He has carried out research and experiments in greenhouse, lysimeter, phytotron and field environments, designed in close cooperation with engineers, technicians and statisticians to ensure a high scientific standard and publishable results.His main interests are nutrient and trace element processes, and their interactions in the soil – microbe – plant system. At Lincoln University he is currently working with phytomanagement systems, concentrating on biowaste recycling to degraded and low fertility soil while increasing plant and food quality.


 Izzy Alderton

Izzy is a senior technician at ESR / +64 4 914 0689

Last update 30/8/17