Ehsan Tavakkoli

Research interests

  • Understanding and amelioration of subsoil constraints to improve crop productivity
  • Improving nutrient use efficiency in broad acre cropping systems
  • Organic matter chemistry in agricultural soils
  • Factors affecting nutrient availability and use by crops
  • Physiological responses of grain crops to combined abiotic stresses
  • Synchrotron techniques in biogeochemistry and plant physiology


Dr Ehsan Tavakkoli is a Research Scientist with over 10 years of research and consulting experience in soil fertility & crop nutrition, subsoil constraints, environmental nanotechnology and soil-plant interactions. Dr Tavakkoli is responsible for the Soil Science Laboratories at Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute where work in soil chemistry and physics is undertaken. Dr Tavakkoli has been involved and led a number of projects co-funded by GRDC, ARC, DAFF and the Australian Synchrotron.

He currently leads the NSW component of various National GRDC programs on improving wheat yields in sodic and dispersive soils, amelioration of sodic and acidic soils and understanding crop responses to modern fertilisation techniques with a focus on improving subsoil fertility.

Dr Tavakkoli is also involved in the development of various approaches that employ synchrotron techniques in soils which allow highly spatially-resolved in situ analyses to be performed. He has close relationships with growers, advisers and grower groups across Australia and participated in numerous field days and GRDC updates in south-eastern Australia. He is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at The University of Adelaide and Charles Sturt University and a visiting Research Fellow at CSIRO Land & Water.


  • B. Sci. Hons (Agriculture-Soil Science) – Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. 2004
  • Master of Science in Agriculture (Crop Nutrition) – University of New England, Australia. 2007
  • PhD (Soil-Plant interactions) – The University of Adelaide. 2011

Current projects

  • Updated Nutrient Response Curves in the Northern and Southern Regions
  • Understanding the amelioration processes of the subsoil application of amendments in the Southern Region.
  • Innovative approaches to managing subsoil acidity in the southern region
  • Improving wheat yields on sodic, magnesic and dispersive soils.
  • Australian Research Council (DP150101760) Engineered graphene-based nanofertilizers to improve crop nutrition

Recent publications

G K McDonald, D Cozzolino, Krzysztof Banas, P Rengasamy, E Tavakkoli (2016) Field survey of total and dissolved organic carbon in alkaline soils of southern Australia: effect of pH and land management. Soil Research. In Press.

P Rengasamy, E Tavakkoli, GK McDonald (2016) Exchangeable cations and clay dispersion: net dispersive charge, a new concept for dispersive soil. European Journal of Soil Science 67, 659-665.

E Tavakkoli, P Rengasamy, E Smith, GK McDonald (2015) The effect of cation–anion interactions on soil pH and solubility of organic carbon. European Journal of Soil Science 66, 1054-1062.

E Tavakkoli, Albert Juhasz, Erica Donner (2015) Characterising the exchangeability of phenanthrene associated with naturally occurring soil colloids using an isotopic dilution technique. Environmental Pollution 199, 244-252

E Donner, G Brunetti, B Zarcinas, P Harris, E Tavakkoli, R Naidu, E Lombi (2013) Effects of chemical amendments on the lability and speciation of metals in anaerobically digested biosolids. Environmental science & technology 47 (19), 11157-11165

E Tavakkoli, P Rengasamy, GK McDonald (2011) High concentrations of Na+ and Cl–ions in soil solution have simultaneous detrimental effects on growth of faba bean under salinity stress. Journal of Experimental Botany 61 (15), 4449-4459

E Tavakkoli, F Fatehi, S Coventry, P Rengasamy, GK McDonald (2011) Additive effects of Na+ and Cl–ions on barley growth under salinity stress. Journal of Experimental Botany 62 (6), 2189-2203

Google scholar listing

Professional associations and activities

  • Adjunct Senior Lecturer, EH Graham Centre, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga
  • Verterra Ecological Engineering, Pty Ltd (Environmental Scientist), 2011-Present
  • Australian Society of Soil Science Inc. (Treasurer of SA branch in 2009-2010, Treasurer of Riverina Branch 2016, member of committee since 2007)
  • The Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC)
  • International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS)

Fields of research

  • 050304 Soil Chemistry
  • 050301 Carbon Seuqestration Science
  • 050399 Soil Sciences not elsewhere classified
  • 050209 Natural Resource Management
  • Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Crop nutrition and nutrient cycling
  • Amelioration of subsoil constraints
  • Water use efficiency
  • Fertiliser management
  • Crop agronomy
  • Soil organic matter

Contact details

Email: ehsan.tavakkoli@dpi.nsw.gov.au