University of Western Australia academic wins General Jeffery Soil Health Award
6 August 2021: Leading academic and science communicator in the field of soil science and soil biology, Emeritus Professor Lynette Abbott, was today named as the first recipient of the General Jeffery Soil Health Award.
The well-known academic from the University of Western Australia celebrated at one of several COVID-safe functions, streamed as part of the 2021 National Landcare Awards held online last night.
Named in honour of Australia’s first National Soils Advocate, the late Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd), the Award recognises an individual’s work to champion, improve and or educate others in soil health.
Professor Abbott is a pioneering researcher on soil fungi in agriculture and disturbed natural environments, and is acknowledged as a world leader in this field. Her research has addressed fungal interactions with plants and implications for fertilizer management and soil amendments.
She has shared her extensive knowledge with students, and by establishing the innovative ‘Know your Soil Biology’ workshops for farmers, she is providing hands-on activities demonstrating the benefits of soil biota for soil health.
Professor Abbott is also currently consolidating soil health knowledge through a project in the Australian Government Smart Farms program.
Announcing the award from the ACT COVID-safe function, Australia’s National Soils Advocate since August 2020, the Honourable Penny Wensley AC, said “Emeritus Professor Abbott has long been a champion and leading voice in the field of soil health. She is a most deserving recipient of this new award.”
“Many have benefited from her research and knowledge over her 40 year career. It is a great pleasure for me, as Australia’s National Soils Advocate, to be able to acknowledge her contribution and to support her continued work through this $20,000 Award.
“Australia’s first National Soils Advocate, General Jeffery was a tireless champion of soil health. I am sure all who knew and worked with him will be delighted to see his legacy honoured and maintained in this way.”
The General Jeffery Soil Health Award was established and is supported by the Office of the National Soils Advocate within the Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and is administered by Landcare Australia.