PARKS, Sophie

Sophie Parks

Research interests

  • Impact of greenhouse technologies on production efficiency and product quality
  • Plant nutrition of vegetables in hydroponic systems
  • Food safety of hydroponic vegetables


Sophie Parks joined NSW Agriculture* in 2002 as a research horticulturist and is located at Gosford Horticultural Institute, incorporating the National Centre for Greenhouse Horticulture.

Sophie is a plant physiologist working primarily in the area of greenhouse and hydroponic vegetable production. Her research is aimed at improving the efficiency, quality and sustainability of greenhouse and hydroponic crops in an Australian context.

Her projects focus on aspects of plant nutrition such as fertiliser requirements of Asian leafy vegetables and green tea, vegetable food safety such as pesticide residues in lettuce, and the impact of greenhouse systems and practices on production such as modifying low technology greenhouses to improve cucumber yields.

*NSW Department of Primary Industries was formed on July 1, 2004 through an amalgamation of NSW Agriculture, NSW Fisheries, State Forests of NSW and the NSW Department of Mineral Resources.


  • BSc – Macquarie University 1993
  • M Hort – University of Western Sydney 1995
  • PhD Horticulture – University of Western Sydney 2000

Current projects

  • Improving the efficiency of low-medium technology greenhouse vegetable production in Australia
  • The nutrition of leafy vegetables including Asian vegetables in hydroponics
  • Improving the cultivation of indigenous vegetables by women in Vietnam
  • Improving the nitrate nutrition of Australian grown green tea

Recent publications

Parks SE and Spohr LJ (submitted 2010). Sap nitrate in frozen-thawed and refrigerated stems of Amaranthus tricolor is indicative of nitrogen fertilizer supply. Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition.

Grewal HS, Maheshwari B, Parks SE (2011) Water and nutrient use efficiency of a low-cost hydroponic greenhouse for a cucumber crop: An Australian case study. Agricultural Water Management 98:841-846.

Parks SE, Huett  DO, Campbell LC and Spohr LJ (2008). Nitrate and nitrite in Australian leafy vegetables. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 59:632-638.

Parks SE, Haigh AM and Harris A (2007). Responses of six species of Proteaceae, in containers, to controlled-release fertilizer. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 38:1-11.

Parks SE, Worrall RJ, Low CT, and Jarvis JA (2007). Improving management of substrates in greenhouse vegetable production in Australia Acta Horticulturae (in press).

Professional associations and activities

  • Australian Society of Horticultural Science
  • International Society of Horticultural Science
  • Australian Greenhouse and Hydroponic Association

Fields of research

  • 060705 Plant Physiology

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Plant nutrition
  • Vegetable food safety
  • Greenhouse horticulture
  • Hydroponics

Contact details