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The future of nutrient management rests on technology and
circular economy

As one of the largest global food producers, Australia relies on a constant supply of soil nutrients to support productive and healthy agriculture. Applying fertilisers to land is often affected by low plant uptake, resulting in nutrients lost to runoff and soil erosion. These losses constitute diffuse sources of nutrient pollution into Australian water bodies and can cause eutrophication and biodiversity loss.

Our expert panel will examine the current strategies and future technology innovations for improved nutrient management in Australian agriculture and our cities. The panel will discuss a circular economy of nutrients, exploring the associated impacts, opportunities and constraints of this system.

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Meet the panelists

Jacqueline Frizenschaf, WaterRA

Jacqueline Frizenschaf is Water Research Australia’s General Manager Research Services. Jacqueline, a water resources engineer and hydrologist by training, has been in the water resources and water quality business for over 25 years. Her career pathway has been marked by research assistant work at German and American universities, consulting in the USA for 10-years; followed by employment in South Australia since 2002 (SA EPA, SA Water, WaterRA).

Solving challenging water resource and water quality issues to ensure the broader community benefits from secure water sources and safe drinking water remain front and centre of her work. Jacqueline has lead projects and teams in the areas of water resources and water quality assessments. She has been instrumental in leading drought and extreme weather event projects and land and fire management and recovery efforts after bushfires in South Australia. Jacqueline is currently managing the research team at WaterRA covering a broad spectrum of industry driven research, including circular economy for water and algal innovations.

Cameron Jackson, Urban Utilities

Cameron Jackson is an environmental scientist with extensive experience in the water sector. He’s passionate about biodiversity conservation and protecting the valuable ecosystem services enjoyed by the communities in South East Queensland.

As the lead Environmental Strategist for Urban Utilities, Cameron provides advice on water, environment and natural resource management policy and strategy. Cameron has been instrumental in the development and implementation of innovative green infrastructure solutions for the water utility sector in Queensland and is excited to continue work in this growing market.

Deli Chen, The University of Melbourne

Professor Deli Chen is an internationally recognised soil scientist working on the efficiency of nitrogen use in agricultural systems, and its impact on global food security and climate change.

He is a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Discipline Leader in the Soil and Environment Research Group, and Director of the Australian-China Joint Research Centre, Healthy Soils for Sustainable Food Production and Environmental Quality. He was recently announced as the Director of the new ARC Research Hub for Smart Fertilisers.  

Professor Chen leads a well-recognised research team, investigating soil-plant nitrogen dynamics in agroecosystems, optimal fertiliser management, greenhouse gas emissions from intensive agricultural systems, enhanced efficiency nitrogen fertilisers, agricultural ‘big data’ and sustainable indices. His work has been recognised through national and international awards such as the Kingenta Agricultural Science Award and the JA Prescott Medal for excellence and achievement in the field of soil science by the Australian Society of Soil Science.

Kate Sinclair, Stantec

Kate Sinclair is a Principal environmental consultant at Stantec with more than 20 years of experience in environmental assessment, regulatory approvals, and management of environmental risk. During her career, she has provided expertise on several major wastewater and water infrastructure projects, focused mainly within Queensland, but also in the UK in the early part of her career.  

A significant aspect of Kate’s current workload involves assisting utility providers in the delivery of environmental assessments that support the acquisition of licences for essential wastewater infrastructure, often discharging to very sensitive receiving environments.  This role has demonstrated the critical importance that scientists, engineers and researchers collectively perform in ensuring that a scientifically defensible environmental assessment is undertaken and effectively communicated to regulators as part of the licencing process. 

Stefano Freguia, (Chair), The University of Melbourne
Stefano Freguia is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne. From 2010 to 2019 he was an academic at the Advanced Water Management Centre at the University of Queensland, where he led a research team in the field of electrochemistry for water and wastewater applications. He was an ARC DECRA fellow (2013-16). Stefano’s research focuses on the electrochemical interactions between bacteria and their environment, and how these interactions can be used to develop biosensors and other environmental technologies. In applied research, his aim is to transform the water industry through wastewater source separation and the introduction of new technology for water-nutrients-energy recovery, to deliver resilience and flexibility to urban water and wastewater services and infrastructure.

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