Optimising industrial hemp as a new fiber crop in evolving agriculture in Australia

Exploring and optimising new fiber crops

Industrial hemp is a non-drug Cannabis sativa L. increasingly getting attention as a potential fiber crop in Australia.

This project aims to optimise the use of industrial hemp (iHemp) in Australian agriculture, in the poorly fertile and water deficient soils of the south west coast of Australia. An agronomic package will develop to determine the fertiliser requirement, time of sowing, moisture requirement and genotype evaluation both under greenhouse and field conditions.

We also use novel rock mineral-based biofertiliser to improve soil fertility, soil carbon sequestration, quality seed and fibre production.

The effects of iHemp on subsequent crop productivity, soil health (including functional diversity of microbes) as well as rhizosphere interactions and weathering of mineral-based biofertiliser will be determined. The mechanisms of action of mineral-based biofertiliser in the soil-microbes-roots continuum will be characterised.

For more background information, see the suggested readings below.

Suggested readings

Research team leader: Dr Zakaria Solaiman

I am a soil microbiologist who has been doing research on arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis, molecular soil ecology and plant nutrition for the past 20 years. I wrote my PhD on soil microbiology and plant nutrition, and pursued several postdoctoral positions in Japan before moving to The University of Western Australia in 2000.

How to apply

Interested in becoming part of this project? Complete the following steps to submit your expression of interest:

Step 1 - Check criteria

General UWA PhD entrance requirements can be found on the Future Students website.

Step 2 - Submit enquiry to research team leader

Step 3 - Lodge application

After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, you should be in a position to proceed to the next step of the UWA application process: Lodge an application. Different application procedures apply to domestic and international students.


Domestic students

All domestic students may apply for Research Training Program and University Postgraduate Awards (UPA) scholarships

International students

A range of scholarships are available from international organisations and governments. The full list, organised by country, is available on the Future Students website.

In addition, all international students may apply for International Research Training Program scholarships.

Indigenous students
Indigenous students are encouraged to apply for Indigenous Postgraduate Research Supplementary Scholarships.
Forrest Foundation scholarships
All international and Australian students who wish to study towards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at The University of Western Australia may apply for Forrest Scholarships.

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