John McLean Bennett
The IUSS is extremely proud to announce that the winner of the first IUSS Jeju Award is John McLean Bennett of the University of Southern Queensland.
John McLean Bennett, Associate Professor of Soil Science at the University of Southern Queensland, grew up on a sheep and cattle station situated in semi-arid rangeland (New South Wales) where he developed a strong linkage to the land, agriculture and resource management. He subsequently graduated the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Science (Resource and Environmental Management) with Honours (Soil Science), and The University of Sydney with a PhD (Soil Science). Through these degrees he grew a strong appreciation for taking a systems approach to soil management, which he has taken into his leadership positions with his university and as Federal President of Soil Science Australia.
John is a soil physicist with expertise in soil structure. His research falls into three key areas, with an overarching context of soil security and digital rural futures: 1) Applied soils and irrigation projects in collaboration with agricultural/mining industries, 2) Fundamental research directed towards understanding water quality interactions with soil physical and chemical mechanisms and processes; and 3) Agricultural extension and data management. He seeks to use fundamental understanding of soil physics and chemistry to move theoretical approaches towards catchment scale prediction and decision management tools.