Research interests

  • Tall fescue improvement and management
  • Tropical grass improvement and management
  • Perennial legume improvement and management
  • Management of Chilean needle grass
  • Efficient utilisation of pasture by animals


Carol is a Research Scientist located at the Agricultural Research & Advisory Station Glen Innes. Carol conducts agronomic and plant physiology research to improve the performance of pastures for livestock production and grazing/cropping systems across the state, but with an emphasis on the Northern Tablelands and North-West slopes of NSW. Carol’s research work encompasses plant improvement with an emphasis on perennial grasses (tall fescue, cocksfoot and tropical grasses), species evaluation, pastures for mixed farming systems and pasture management. Carol also conducts research on the management of Chilean needle grass including the use of alternative chemicals and grazing management to deplete the soil seed bank.


  • B. Rur. Sc. (Hons) – University of New England 1991
  • M. Sc. Agr – Sydney University 1995

Current projects

  • Depletion of Nassella neesiana seed banks using essential oil projects
  • Increasing livestock production by integrating tropical pasture into farming systems
  • Extending the boundaries of legume adaptation through better soil management
  • Improving profit from pasture through increased feed efficiency

Recent publications

Harris C, Boschma S, Brennan M, Borg L, Harden S, Cullis B (2019) Leucaena shows potential in Northern Inland New South Wales, Australia. Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales 7, 120–126.

Boschma SP, McCorkell BM, Harris CA, Murphy SR (2018) Low canopy cover in a sown Digitaria eriantha Steud.  pasture improves establishment of Trifolium subterraneum L. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 62, 246–254.

Egan MK, Boschma SP, Harden S, Harris CA, Edwards C (2017) Temperatures for seedling emergence of tropical perennial grasses. Crop and Pasture Science 68, 493–500.

Hughes S, Smith R, Cox K, Humphries A, McClements D, Harris C, Rogers MJ (2017) The Australian Pastures Genebank – a short history and update of progress. In: Doing More with Less GJ O’Leary, RD Armstrong and L Hafner Eds. Proceedings of the 18th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference, 24–28 September 2017, Ballarat Victoria, Australia.

Clark SG, Nie ZN, Culvenor R A, Harris, CA, Hayes RC, Li GD, Norton MR, Partington DL (2016) Field Evaluation of Cocksfoot, Tall Fescue and Phalaris for Dry Marginal Environments of South‐Eastern Australia. 1. Establishment and Herbage Production. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 202, 96–114.

Culvenor RA, Clark SG, Harris CA, Hayes RC, Li GD, Nie ZN, Norton MR, Partington DL (2016) Field evaluation of cocksfoot, tall fescue and phalaris for dry marginal environments of south-eastern Australia. 2. Persistence.  Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 202, 355–371

Boschma SP, Harris CA, Waters CM, Toole ID, Brennan MA, Lowien KP, McCorkell BM (2015) Establishment and spring vigour of leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala ssp. glabrata) cultivars in northern inland New South Wales, Australia. In ‘Proceedings of TropAg2015, Tropical Agriculture Conference 2015 – Meeting the Productivity Challenges in the Tropics’ p 136 (ICMS Australasia: South Brisbane Qld). Available http://tropagconference.com.au/d/TropAg2015-Abstract-Book.pdf

Boschma SP, Murphy SR, Harris CA (2014) Managing nutrition and utilisation of tropical perennial grass pastures. In ‘Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Grassland Society of NSW’. (Ed CA Harris). pp. 24–31. (Grassland Society of NSW Inc.: Orange).

Harris CA, Boschma SP, Murphy SR, McCormick LH (2014) Tropical perennial grasses for Northern Inland NSW – Second Edition (Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre: Perth)

Jahufer Z, Ford J, Widdup K, Harris C, Cousins G, Ayres J, Lane L, Hofmann R, Ballizany W, Mercer C, Crush J, Williams W, Woodfield D, Barrett B  (2012) Improving white clover for Australasia. Crop and Pasture Science 63, 739–745

Nichols P, Revell C, Humphries A, Howie J, Hall E , Sandral G, Ghamkhar K, Harris C (2012) Temperate pasture legumes in Australia - their history, current use and future prospects. Crop and Pasture Science 63, 691–725

Salmon R, Harris C (2012) Foreword – The Australian Legume. Crop and Pasture Science 63, i-ii

Virgona J, Harris C, Kemp S, Evans J, Salmon R (2012) Australian Legume Symposium - synthesis and future directions. Crop and Pasture Science 63, 918–926

Professional associations and activities

  • Grassland Society of NSW - Editor & State Committee Member
  • Australian Grassland Association  - Founding member and committee

Fields of research

  • 070302 Agronomy
  • 070305 Crop and pasture improvement (selection & breeding)
  • 070306 Crop and pasture nutrition
  • 070308 Crop and pasture protection (Pests, diseases and weeds)

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Tall fescue breeding and selection
  • Tropical grass improvement
  • Perennial legume improvement
  • Pasture management
  • Chilean needle grass

Contact details

Email: carol.harris@dpi.nsw.gov.au