Mike is a Senior Research Scientist with CSIRO, and is based in Townsville, Australia. He leads the Northern Cropping Team in Agriculture and Food, CSIRO. Mike has expertise in soil fertility and crop nutrition, ranging from plantation forests to smallholder crops including cocoa, coffee and oil palm. He has 30+ years’ experience in research for development to improve the productivity and sustainability of smallholder farming systems in the Pacific, Asia and Africa. He has worked in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Thailand, China, The Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji Island, Samoa, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu, Niue and the United States of America.
Mike’s contribution to the Soil management in Pacific Islands project involved leading the component of the project that quantified nutrient cycling in island agricultural and taro production systems and undertook field trials to highlight the importance of budgeting for soil fertility management and increasing yield. For this project, Mike worked in Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga. This work has increased awareness of mining the soils nutrients through agriculture and has promoted approaches to replenish soil fertility with the use of compost and fish meal. This work aims to make agriculture more sustainable and productive through improved understanding and management of soil fertility.