University of Newcastle
Rob is a PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle studying how the restoration of ecosystems post mining can be accelerated. He graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Science degree and First Class Honours in 2015. Before beginning the PhD he worked with two consulting companies focusing remote classification of vegetation communities and mine rehabilitation. Rob loves looking at how the biotic world interacts with the abiotic and is looking forward to the discoveries of the future.
Differences in soil ameliorant types change growth and number of trees
Tall, dense areas of trees are often looked upon by the general public as being more natural, a characteristic desired for the rehabilitation of many mines. The growth of plants on mine rehabilitation areas however is largely determined by the quality of the amelioration applied. There are many ameliorant options available which range from natural substrates like native vegetation topsoil and subsoil through to recycled organic products such as chipped tree mulch and Mixed Waste Organic Material (MWOO). We applied combinations of these ameliorants to an experimental restoration site and examined the growth of trees after 4.5 years. All plots received the same number of seeds. There were two broad stories from the data. Firstly, the greatest increase in the number of trees came from applying subsoil and mulch. Secondly, the presence of the commercially produced MWOO, OGM by Global Renewables, drastically increased the growth of trees in height and girth. This extra growth suggests that OGM also leads to increased biomass development. We suspect that the differences indicate that the subsoil and mulch foster germination and early survival of seedlings while OGM has provided ongoing nutrient supply for growth.
Stream 1 - Pathways to relinquishment and opportunities to transition to productive alternate land usesUnderstanding Acid Mine Drainage / Acid Rock Drainage and the implications for rehabilitation and closureHarnessing Hyperaccumulator Plants to Phytoremediate Contaminated Mining SitesIssues in Tropical Forest Rehabilitation Post Mining in Borneo