Professor Neal Menzies
Professor Neal Menzies
Head of School and Dean of Agriculture
BAgrSc (Hons) (QLD), MAgrSt (QLD), PhD (QLD)

Room 128, Building 8117A, Gatton Campus or
Room S304, Level 3, Hartley Teakle Building (83), St Lucia
P: +61 7 5460 1047 (Gatton)
P: +61 7 3365 1174 (St Lucia)


Professor Neal Menzies is Head of UQ’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Professor of Soil and Environmental Science and a member of the Cooperative Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC-CARE).
With a passion for the environment, Professor Menzies has used his role as a teacher and research leader to bring others into this highly rewarding field of soil and environmental science. He believes that scientists must go further than identifying where human activity is harming the environment, they must also deliver workable solutions to the problems. While his research spans a range of environmental chemistry issues, he considers himself primarily a soil scientist, and sees soil science as a central discipline in the solution of a broad range of problems. This is well reflected in the research projects he has been involved in, including projects in agricultural production, water quality, waste disposal, mined land rehabilitation, conservation biology, and even forensic science. His current research focuses largely on the phytotoxicity of trace metals in soil solutions, giving particular consideration to aluminium and other trace metals such as lead, copper, zinc and nickel. Since joining UQ in 1994, Professor Menzies has helped attract more than $20 million in research funding and has had more than 200 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, books and conferences.
Professor Menzies is also involved in agricultural production systems research primarily directed at overcoming nutritional constraints to productivity both in Australia and in the developing world. He is involved in Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) funded research projects in India, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.  Projects have included nutritional studies on nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and copper.
Prior to joining UQ, Professor Menzies worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Cameroon and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom.
Professor Menzies has served as Secretary, Vice-President and President of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Society of Soil Science Inc. (ASSSI), and Vice-President and President of the Federal ASSSI Branch. He is also immediate past Vice-President (2006-2010) of the International Union of Soil Sciences (a union representing approximately 55,000 soil scientists internationally).

Expertise Topics

  • Nutrient dynamics in traditional and improved farming systems and in drastically disturbed lands
  • Phytotoxicity of trace metals in soils
  • Sodic subsoils
  • Rehabilitation of degraded soils (restoration of lands degraded by mining and industrial activity)
  • Management of soils to reduce greenhouse gases
  • Soil water balance and nutrient movement in sewage and intensive animal waste disposal systems
  • Application of green waste to intensive farming systems 

Research Projects

Professor Menzies has been an active researcher since 1994 generating in excess of $20 million in research income and has continued his research while Head of School. He is available for new research collaborations and consultation on soil nutrient dynamics in farming systems and land rehabilitation sites, management of soils to reduce greenhouse gases, waste disposal systems, and phyto-toxicity of metals and metalloids.
Please see full list of projects

Research Projects

Professor Menzies supervises a number of research higher degree students in diverse fields of soil science.  Current postgraduate research opportunities exist in the following areas:
  • Beneficial use in agriculture of the slightly saline and alkaline water produced as a waste stream in the production of coal seam methane
  • Nutrient depletion and stratification in dryland farming systems in Queensland
  • Nutrition demands of novel crops
  • Sequestration of carbon in soils
  • Toxicity of trace metals to plants 


Professor Menzies is a highly published author with close to 200 articles published in peer reviewed scientific journals, 85 conference papers and four books/book chapters.
Please see full list of publications.

Key Stakeholder Engagement

  • Santos - Working with Australian resources company Santos to develop systems for the beneficial reuse of coal seam gas (CSG) water.  Professor Menzies and his colleagues' research has assisted Santos to establish the world's first large-scale CSG water irrigation project in Queensland, whish irrigates 240 hectares of legume forage crops and two million native trees.
  • Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (QDAFF) - collaborator on projects addressing plant nutritional issues on horticulture and broadacre agriculture, and in the sequestration of carbon in a range of farming systems. 
  • GRDC - Regular guest speaker at grain grower workshops organized by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
  • ACIAR - Research project co-leader for a number of Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) projects in developing overseas countries, including assisting highland farmers in Papua New Guinea with the development of sustainable sweet potato cropping systems.
  • Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) - Research affiliate and contributor to research project in the plant and soil area. 

Teaching and Development

GEOS1100 Environment and Society - Land resources and their use 


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