Alan Richardson

Dr Alan Richardson: understanding how plants obtain nutrients from the soil

Dr Alan Richardson leads a team researching ways of improving plant uptake of phosphorus from the soil. He is also an expert in the regulation of genetically modified crops in Australia.

  • 4 August 2011 | Updated 31 August 2012

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Publishing History

Overview

Page 1 of 2

Current activities

Dr Alan Richardson leads a team investigating the molecular basis of plant phosphorus nutrition, to better understand how plants can access phosphorus from soil and how this might be improved.

He also leads the Root Growth and Soil Biology group studying rhizosphere interactions, as well as the molecular ecology of soil microorganisms and how they contribute to the availability of nutrients in soil.

Dr Richardson is engineering plants for enhanced phosphorus-use efficiency and greater returns from phosphorus fertilizers.

The research group lead by Dr Richardson is engineering plants for enhanced phosphorus-use efficiency and greater returns from phosphorus fertilizers.

Dr Richardson is also involved in the Regulation of genetically modified (GM) crops in Australia.

Background

Dr Richardson arrived at CSIRO as a post-doctoral scientist in 1989, working on nitrogen fixation by soil bacteria in relation to the breakdown of crop residues.

He developed expertise as a research scientist in understanding the role of soil microorganisms in phosphorus availability and how microorganisms interact with roots and contribute to the phosphorus nutrition of plants.

Academic qualifications

Dr Richardson has been awarded a:

  • Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours from the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1983
  • Doctor of Philosophy also from the University of Melbourne in 1988.

Achievements

Major awards received are:

  • Alf Anderson Plant Nutrition Award in 2000
  • Japanese Society for Promotion of Science Bilateral Research Program Award in 2004
  • Australian Academy of Science: Scientific Visit to Europe Award in 2007
  • Soil Science Society of America (Boyoucos Award) in 2005
  • CSIRO Newton-Turner Award 2011.

He also has undertaken the roles of:

  • Adjunct Professor, The University of Western Australia in 2008
  • Secretary for the Australian Society for Nitrogen Fixation from 1991 to 1993
  • National convenor for ‘Microbial Ecology Special Interest Group’, Australian Society Microbiology from 1993 to 1996
  • Chairman CSIRO Plant Industry Institutional Biosafety Committee, 1992 to the present
  • Associate Editor for Grass and Forage Science 2010
  • International Scientific Steering Committees: Rhizosphere3 2011.

See a list of recent scientific papers published by Dr Richardson on the next page.