KEEN, Brad

Research interests

  • Soil greenhouse gas dynamics
  • Nitrogen fertiliser use efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Irrigation and soil water
  • Agriculture and natural resources in developing countries
  • Soil microbiology

Background

Brad has over 14 years research experience across a broad range of areas, mostly in soil science, microbial ecology, irrigation science, plant pathology, recycled organics and farming systems, within the broader discipline of Agricultural Science. After graduating from the University of Western Sydney in 2000 he was employed as a Technical Officer for two years with the Organic Waste Recycling Unit, NSW Agriculture, Richmond. In mid-2002 he relocated to the NSW DPI, Wollongbar Primary Industries Institute where he undertook his PhD project investigating the microbial ecology of Phytophthora cinnamomi suppressive soils.
Between 2007 and 2013 Brad was employed under projects funded by the Australian Centre of International Agricultural Research, with project partners in Vietnam and Indonesia. He played key technical coordination and leadership roles for project activities in soil, crop and irrigation science and water resource management.
Brad joined the NSW DPI, Soils Unit as an ongoing Technical Officer in September 2013. In his current role he provides technical research support for the NSW DPI Soils Unit and coordinates and operates NSW DPI’s greenhouse gas and isotopomeric N2O analytical services.

Qualifications

BMLC (Hons 1). University of Western Sydney, 2000
PhD, University of Western Sydney, 2007

Current projects

Analysis of greenhouse gas emissions by Gas Chromatography
Determining sources of N2O emissions by isotopomeric N2O analysis
Developing miniaturised microplate assays for soil mineral-nitrogen analysis

Recent publications

Quinn, P., Cowie, A., Flavel, R., Keen, B., Macdonald, L., Morris, S., Singh, B. Young, I., van Zwieten, L. (2014) Oil mallee biochar improves soil structural properties - a study with x-ray micro-CT. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment (In press).

Keen, B.
, Hoanh, Chu Thai (2014) Water resources in South Central Coastal Vietnam: knowledge, management and research opportunities. In Bell, R., Mann, S. (Eds) Sustainable and profitable crop and livestock systems for south central coastal Vietnam. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, ACT. (In press).

Hoang Vinh, Keen. B, Hoang Minh Tam, Slavich, P., Ho Huy Cuong, Do Thanh Nhan. (2014) Mini-evaporation pan irrigation scheduling: a tool for improving on-farm water use efficiency for peanut and tree crops in south central coastal Vietnam. In Bell, R., Mann, S. (Eds) Sustainable and profitable crop and livestock systems for south central coastal Vietnam. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, ACT (In press).

Keen, B., Chu Thai Hoanh, Slavich, P. Bell, R., Hoang Minh Tam (2013) Project Final Report SMCN/2012/017: Opportunities to improve the sustainable utilisation and management of water and soil resources for coastal agriculture in Vietnam and Australia. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading, Canberra, ACT.

Tinning, G. Slavich, P, Keen, B. Ferizal, M. , Iskandar, T. McLeod, M., Irhas, Nazariah, Husen, E, Efandi, E., Bakar, B. (2013) Project Final Report SMCN/2007/109: Building more profitable and resilient farming systems in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam and New South Wales. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading, Canberra, ACT.

Keen, B
., Slavich, P. (2012) Comparison of irrigation strategies for achieving water use efficiencies in highbush blueberry production. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, 40. 3-20

Keen, B
., Slavich, P., Boyd, B. (2011) Project Final Report SMCN/2003/035: Improving the Utilisation of Water and Soil Resources for Tree Crop Production in Coastal Areas of Vietnam and New South Wales.  Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading, Canberra, ACT.

Keen, B
., Vancov, T. (2010) Microbiology of Phytophthora cinnamomi suppressive soils. in Méndez-Vilas, A. (ed) Current Research, Technology and Education Topics in Applied Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology. Formatex, Spain.

Keen, B
. (2010) Irrigation Essentials for North Coast Farmers in NSW: Success Stories. Industry and Investment NSW, Orange, NSW.

Keen, B
., Cox, J., Morris, S., Dalby, T. (2010) Stemflow runoff contributes to soil erosion at the base of macadamia trees. 19th World Congress of Soil Science, Soil Solutions for a Changing World.  August 2010, Brisbane, Australia. Conference proceedings. International Union for Soil Science.

Slavich, P., Tran Tien Dung, Keen, B., Hoang Minh Tam (2010) Rice-husk biochar improves productivity of sandy soils in central coastal Vietnam. 3rd International Biochar Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 2010: Conference Proceedings. International Biochar Initiative.

Slavich, P. Keen, B., Hoang M. T., Nguyen T. T. (2010) Managing water and nutrients in sandy soils for tree crop production in Central Coastal Vietnam. 19th World Congress of Soil Science, Soil Solutions for a Changing World – 6 August 2010, Brisbane, Australia Conference proceedings. International Union for Soil Science.

Vancov, T., Keen, B. (2009) Rapid isolation and high-throughput determination of cellulase and laminarinase activity in soils. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 79. 174-177.

Vancov, T., Keen, B. (2009) Amplification of soil fungal community DNA using the ITS86F and ITS4 primers. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 296. 91-96.

Keen, B
. (2006) Microbial Ecology of Phytophthora cinnamomi Suppressive Soils: a Study of Biological Suppression of P. cinnamomi in Avocado Orchards on the East Coast of Australia. PhD Thesis. University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Keen, B
., Bishop, A., Gibson, T., Spohr, L., Wong, P.T.W. (2001) Phylloxera mortality and temperature profiles in compost. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 8.  56-61.

Fields of research (ANZ standard research classification)

  • 050209 Natural Resource Management
  • 050303 Soil Biology
  • 050304 Soil Chemistry
  • 050305 Soil Physics
  • 050399 Soil Sciences not elsewhere classified

Keywords/phrase list of research interest

  • Greenhouse gas
  • N2O isotopomers
  • Nitrogen
  • Irrigation
  • Microbiology

Contact details

Email: brad.keen@dpi.nsw.gov.au
Location: Wollongbar Primary Industries Institute