Caspar joined QAAFI as a research student in 2013, undertaking his PhD on the intensification of crop production. He had previously studied wheat root distribution after subsoil manuring during his dual degree in agricultural science (honours 1st class) and international development at La Trobe University. His PhD work compared drivers of high yield and their associated risks in smallholder maize production in Mozambique and commercial sorghum production in Queensland. His PhD research was recognised through a number of scholarships and awards, including: a scholarship from the CSIRO’s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship; a Farrer Memorial Trust Travelling Scholarship (2014); and the International Plant Nutrition Institute’s Scholar Award (2015). Caspar was an Australian delegate at the inaugural Youth-Ag Summit in 2013 and a Crawford Scholar in 2015. His work has been featured in COSMOS science magazine and on ABC radio. He currently works as a research officer for the Centre for Plant Science and sits on the Board of Career Harvest.
Caspar works within the Farming Systems group headed by A/Prof Daniel Rodriguez. He is working on several activities within the ACIAR-funded project ‘Sustainable Intensification of Maize and Legume systems for food security in Eastern and Southern Africa’ (SIMLESA). Caspar’s activities aim to better understand the opportunities to sustainably exploit the soil resource for rainfed maize and maize-legume cropping systems in Eastern and Southern Africa, and include:
- The development of site-specific maize-legume crop nutrient management decisions support tools for smallholder African farmers practising conservation agriculture (CA) management;
- Exploring chemical and physical soil constraints to maize yield gain by improved hybrid types growing under CA;
- The development of rapid field soil analysis techniques to be used in both smallholder systems of Southern Africa as well as commercial systems of Australia;
- The use of Near Infrared Reflection Spectroscopy (NIRS) to rapidly measure N content of soils, crop residues, plant biomass and grain;
- Promote and support African collaborators to use SMS information systems for communicating research outcomes to farmers.
- Crop production
- Smallholder farming systems
- Crop systems modelling
- Crop production risk
- Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours 1st class, La Trobe University);
- Bachelor of International Development (La Trobe University).