The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Louise Barton

Dr Louise Barton

Senior Research Fellow
Agriculture and Environment, School of

Contact details
School of Agriculture and Environment
The University of Western Australia (M079)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2543
+61 8 6488 1108
BSc W.Aust., PhD Waik.
After spending many childhood hours following the lives of ants on farms, and wondering what their underground homes held, it is probably not surprising that I became a soil scientist.

I have spent much of my professional career researching nitrogen cycling in various land-uses. My research has focused on developing land-management strategies that minimise undesirable losses of nitrogen, such as nitrous oxide emissions and nitrate leaching, into the environment. My understanding of soil nitrogen cycling has been achieved by seeking to understand the interactions between soil biology, chemistry and physics on the fate of nitrogen applied to a variety of land-uses in agriculture, forestry, and horticultural in a range of environments (e.g., Mediterranean, semi-arid and temperate climates). Throughout my career I have enjoyed working collaboratively with Industry and scientists to ensure my research results in practical outcomes for Industry, and publications in well regarded scientific journals.

I have recently taken an active role in introducing undergraduate and postgraduate students to the wonders of soil science, and are learning a lot along the way!
Key research
Measuring and understanding trace gas emissions from soils, including methane and nitrous oxide.
Improving water use efficiency in turfgrass through use of soil amendments and improved scheduling.
Understanding soil nitrogen cycling so as to minimise adverse losses to the environment.
Peer-reviewed articles in last ~5 years

Cayuela, M., Aguilera, E., Sanz-Cobena, A., Adams, D., Abalos, D., Barton, L., Ryals, R., Silver, W., Alfaro, M., Pappa, V., Smith, P., Garnier, J., Billen, G., Bouwman, L., Bondeau, A., Lassaletta, L. 2017, Direct nitrous oxide emissions in Mediterranean climate cropping systems: Emission factors based on a meta-analysis of available measurement data. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 238 25–35.

Barton, L., Hoyle, F., Stefanova, K., Murphy, D. 2016. Incorporating organic matter alters soil greenhouse gas emissions and increases grain yield in a semi-arid climate', Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 231, 320–330.

Kunhikrishnan, A., Thangarajan, R., Bolan, N., Xu, Y., Mandal, S., Gleeson, D., Seshadri, B., Zaman, M., Barton, L., Tang, C., Luo, J., Dalal, R., Ding, W., Kirkham, M., Naidu, R. 2016. ‘Functional Relationships of Soil Acidification, Liming, and Greenhouse Gas Flux’ in Advances in Agronomy, Elsevier Inc.

Maccarone, L., Barton, L., Murphy, D. 2015. Nitrapyrin decreased nitrification of nitrogen released from soil organic matter but not amoA gene abundance at high soil temperature. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 88, 214–223.

Barton, L., B. Wolf, D. Rowlings, C. Scheer, R. Kiese, P. Grace, K. Stefanova, and K. Butterbach-Bahl. 2015. Sampling frequency affects estimates of annual nitrous oxide fluxes. Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 15912.

Fisk, L.M., L. Barton, D. L. Jones, H. C. Glanville, and D. V. Murphy. 2015. Root exudate carbon mitigates nitrogen loss in a semi-arid soil. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 88, 380–389.

Fisk, L.M., L. D. Maccarone, L. Barton, and D. V. Murphy. 2015. Nitrapyrin decreased nitrification of nitrogen released from soil organic matter but not amoA gene abundance at high soil temperature. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 88, 214–223.

Barton L., T. Thamo, D. Engelbrecht and W. Biswas. 2014.Does growing grain legumes or applying lime cost effectively lower greenhouse gas emissions from wheat production in a semi-arid climate? Journal of Cleaner Production 83, 194–203.

Barton L., D.B. Gleeson, L.D. Maccarone, L.P. Zúñiga, and D.V.Murphy. 2013. Is liming soil a strategy for mitigating nitrous oxide emissions from semi-arid soils? Soil Biology & Biochemistry 62: 28–35.

Barton L., D.V. Murphy, and K. Butterbach-Bahl. 2013. Influence of crop rotation and liming on greenhouse gas emissions from a semi-arid soil. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 167, 23–32.

Li Y, L. Barton, and D. Chen. 2012. Simulating response of N2O emissions to fertiliser N application and climatic variability from a rain-fed and wheat-cropped soil in Western Australia. Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture 92: 1130-1143.
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
UWA School of Agriculture and Environment Education Committee, Chair
Agriculture Science Major, Coordinator
Crop Science Society of America
Soil Science Australia
Soil Science Society of America
New Zealand Society of Soil Science
Honours and awards
Most meritorious oral presentation (Australian Society of Soil Science) at Soils 2008, Australian and New Zealand Fourth Joint Soil Science Conference, 1–5 December, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

T.W. Walker Prize for best oral presentation by a young scientist at Soils 2000, Australian and New Zealand Second Joint Soils Conference.

T.W. Walker Prize for best poster presentation by a young scientist at Soils 2000, Australian and New Zealand Second Joint Soils Conference.
Previous positions
RESEARCH SCIENTIST, Landcare Research (New Zealand), 1998–2001
Employed as a Soil Biogeochemist to primarily conduct research projects funded within two Landcare Research Programs by national public-good funding (FoRST). In addition, conducted commercial research, including the first nationally co-ordinated field study investigating nitrous oxide emissions from New Zealand pasture soils.

PhD CANDITATE, The University of Waikato (New Zealand), 1995–1998
My dissertation investigated denitrification rates, and regulating factors, in the upland soil of a forested land treatment system. The research was conducted in partnership with Forest Research in Rotorua.

GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT, The University of Western Australia, 1993–1995:
A staff member in the Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA), in sub-program investigating the soil acidification potential of grain and pasture legumes.

LAND CONSERVATION OFFICER, WA Department of Agriculture (Moora) 1992–1993:
Employed to assist farmers develop farm plans by providing soil technical information and practical options for addressing soil degradation. The position involved soil identification and mapping, organising workshops and assisting programs intended to increase community awareness of ‘landcare’ principles.

RESEARCH OFFICER, The University of Western Australia, 1992:
Collated and presented soil chemical and physical methods as a manual for use by soil acidity researchers in Western Australia.

June 1993-April 1995RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Cooperative Research Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture, University of Western Australia, Australia.

Western Australian Department of Agriculture.

Feb 1992: RESEARCH OFFICER, Department of Soil Science, University of Western Australia, Australia.
Bachelor of Science
Soil Science ENVT2236 (coordinator)

Agricultural Science Honours (coordinator),

BSc(Hons) project supervision,

Master of Agricultural Science
AGRI5545-5548 International Agriculture: Research and Development (coordinator),
Current external positions
Smart Approved Watermark (SAWN), expert panel member
Soil Science Australia (WA Branch), treasurer
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM