Professor Susanne Schmidt
Professor Susanne Schmidt
Teaching and Research Academic - Plant Science
PhD (Botany), The University of Queensland
MSc (Agricultural Biology), Hohenheim, Germany

Room 329, John Hines building (62), St Lucia Campus
P: +61 7 3365 1050
F: +61 7 3365 1699

Professional Membership of:

  • Australian Society of Plant Scientists
  • Ecological Society of Australia
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow
  • Fellow of the Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Society

Expertise Topics

  • Plant nutrition with a focus on organic nutrients
  • Plant Ecophysiology
  • Soil Biology and biogeochemistry
  • Sustainable crops systems
  • Innovative nutrient management (wastes to fertilisers)

Research Projects

  • Soil biology in sugarcane and forest soils
  • Nutrient use efficiency in sugarcane, sorghum and wild grasses
  • Nutrient and bio-fortification effects of organics
  • New fertilisers from recycled wastes and enriched with beneficial microbes
  • Developing sugarcane-legume company cropping
  • Innovative uses of spinifex grasslands in Australia's arid zone
  • Restoring degraded tropical forests for ecological economic gains

Research Project Opportunities

  • SaveN Cane: selection tools for nitrogen efficient cane
  • Harnessing soil biology for improved sugarcane production
  • Metagenics of soils and rhizosphere
  • New farming methods to improve the efficiency of sugarcane production
  • Advancing Livestock Waste as Low Emission-High Efficiency Fertilizers
  • Novel methods to analyse nutrient fluxes in soils
  • Sustainable development of Brisbane Airport
  • Rainforest Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • Moss walls for green buildings
  • Carbon sequestration in secondary tropical forests and plantations


Project students, Honours and PhD students, and postdocs can be accommodated within current projects and topics related to plant and soil biology and ecology.

See our website for details


Selected Publications

  • Paungfoo-Lonhienne C, Lonhienne TGA, Yeoh YK, Webb RI, Lakshmanan P, Chan CX, Lim PE, Ragan MA, Schmidt S, Hugenholtz P (2014). A new species of Burkholderia isolated from sugarcane roots promotes plant growth. Microbial Biotechnology, 10.1111/1751-7915.12105
  • Weber LC, VanDerWal J, Schmidt S, McDonald WJF, Shoo LP (2014). Patterns of rain forest plant endemism in subtropical Australia relate to stable mesic refugia and species dispersal limitations. Journal of Biogeography,
  • Schmidt S, Raven JA, Paungfoo-Lonhienne C (2013). Goldacre Review. The mixotrophic nature of photosynthetic plants. Functional Plant Biology, 40 (5), 425-438.
  • Bonner MTL, Schmidt S, Shoo L (2013). A meta-analytical global comparison of aboveground biomass accumulation between tropical secondary forests and monoculture plantations. Forest Ecology and Management, 291, 73-86.
  • Brackin R, Robinson N, Lakshmanan P, Schmidt S. (2013). Microbial function in adjacent subtropical forested and agricultural soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 57, 68-77

Key Stakeholder Engagement

  • Sugarcane Industry
  • Queensland DAFF
  • Federal Department of Agriculture
  • Consulting and mining industry (BEnvSci Program)
  • School outreach (school visits, supervising student science projects)

Teaching and Development

Coordinator Bachelor of Environmental Science (BEnvSc) Program
AGRC1040 Food for a Healthy Planet
BIOL2203 Plant Biology
BIOL2015 Field Ecology
BIOL3200 Capstone Plant Biology
BIOL2201 Australia’s Terrestrial Environment
BIOL3204 Plant Adaptation and Ecophysiology


I have been a researcher and educator at UQ since 1996 leading the Plant Nutrition and Ecophysiology research group. Our research is focussed on plant-soil-microbe interactions in natural, agricultural and silvicultural systems in the tropics and subtropics. I live in Brisbane, am married and have two children and one horse.


On this site