* Greenhouse gas production processes from soil
* Soil functionality
* Biochar for soil management
* Impacts of agrochemicals and pollutants on soil function and resilience
* Bioavailability and ecotoxicology of organic contaminants
* Development of remediation technologies
Josh Rust is a Technical Officer for the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. Josh manages technical and logistical aspects of a range of field, laboratory and glasshouse trials for the Soils North research team based at Wollongbar. Josh supervises a number of technical assistants supporting these trials and manages the commercial aspects of the team’s two soil laboratories. Josh is also involved in design, deployment and training in the use of various Greenhouse Gas Sampling devices for the DPI and collaborating organisations.
BSc, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia, 1996
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Collaborative links include
Key project activities
Caring for our Country (2011-2014)
Biochar for addressing soil constraints in the Northern Rivers
Richmond Landcare, CSIRO
Over 150 field plots established testing the benefits of a wide range of biochars and organic amendments on soil fertility and acidity related constraints. Industries include grazing and horticulture.
DAFF Action on the ground (2012-2016)
Legumes, mulch and biochar for increasing N-use efficiency and reducing soil GHG emissions
RIRDC, ATTI, Southern Cross University
Through the use of field demonstration sites, demonstrate improved N-use efficiency through the use of biochar and mulch, and assess N supply via legumes through inter-row cropping. Techniques include high resolution in-field testing for soil GHGs.
DAFF Biochar project 2 (2012-2014)
Biochar field trials and in-field assessment of GHG emissions, biochar stability and negative priming.
CSIRO, University of Tasmania, University of Sydney
A mechanistic study to determine the influence of biochar on soil GHG emissions and soil C storage. This project utilised both field and laboratory studies and relies heavily on the use of stable isotope methodologies, and high resolution in-field testing for soil GHGs.l
DAFF Aotg (2013-16)
Reducing N2O emissions by N-placement at depth
Ultra high pressure application of N at depth may improve N use efficiency and reduce soil GHG emissions. This was tested using field sites in NSW and SA, using high frequency closed chamber sampling methodologies.
Herbicides and impacts on soil biota
QDAFF, UWA, SCU, DAFWA, SANTFA, Vic DPI.
Coordination of a National project addressing the potential impacts of herbicide usage on soil function. The project is using a range of technologies including meta analysis of existing data, field surveys, and mechanistic studies with analysis of function by MiSeq.
DAFF Filling the Research Gap (2013-2016)
Develop a low emission N-fertiliser
University of Newcastle
Using charcoal as a physical carrier to modulate N solubilisation into soil, we are testing impacts on N-use efficiency and soil GHG emissions.
Van Zwieten L, Singh B-P, Kimber SWL, Murphy DV, MacDonald L, Rust J, Morris, S. (2014) An incubation study investigating mechanisms that impact N2O flux from soil following biochar application. Agriculture Ecosystems Environment (in press).
Van Zwieten L, Kimber SW, Morris SG, Singh BP, Grace P, Scheer C, Rust J, Downie A, Cowie A (2013) Pyrolysing poultry litter reduces N2O and CO2 flux. Science of the Total Environment. 465: 279-287.
Lin Y, Munroe P, Joseph S, Ziolkowski A, Van Zwieten L, Kimber S, Rust J (2013) Chemical and structural analysis of enhanced biochars: Thermally treated mixtures of biochar, chicken litter, clay and minerals. Chemosphere 91: 35-40.
Quirk RG, Van Zwieten, L*, Kimber S, Downie A, Moris S and Rust J (2012) The Role of biochar in management of sugarcane. Mini-review. Sugar Tech Volume 14:4, 321-326.
Van Zwieten L., Kimber S., Morris, S., Chan, YK., Downie, A., Rust, J., Joseph, S., and Cowie, A. (2010) Effects of biochar from slow pyrolysis of papermill waste on agronomic performance and soil fertility Plant and Soil 327: 235-246. [3.03]
Van Zwieten, L., Kimber, S., Morris, S., Downie, A., E. Berger, E., Rust, J., Scheer, C. (2010) Influence of biochars on flux of N2O and CO2 from Ferrosol, Special Issue: Australian Journal of Soil Research 48, 555-568 [1.3]
Van Zwieten, L., Kimber, S., Downie, A., Morris, Petty, S., Rust, J., Chan, K.Y. (2010) A glasshouse study on the interaction of low mineral ash biochar with nitrogen in a sandy soil, Special Issue: Australian Journal of Soil Research 48, 569-576. [1.3]
Van Zwieten, L., Rust, J., Kingston, T., Merrington, G. and Morris, S (2004) Influence of copper fungicide residues on occurrence of earthworms in avocado orchard soils. The Science of the Total Environment 329, 29-41.