• The University of Western Australia (M087), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 1074 Citations
  • 18 h-Index
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Personal profile


I have over 10 years experience working in Australian ecosystems and my key research contributions to date focus on how the diversity and function of soil microorganisms are impacted by their surrounding habitat at both micro scale and at landscape scale (e.g. management practices and climate) with particular emphasis on the use of novel molecular biology technologies. My funding comes from diverse sources including The Department of Agriculture, the GRDC, CRC Programs & the ARC. My research has impacted both regionally, nationally & internationally & particularly noteworthy is work I am doing assessing biodiversity in Australian agricultural soils in relation to water dynamics with particular reference to climate change. My research is published in high impact journals such as Applied & Environmental Microbiology and Soil Biology & Biochemistry and Current Biology. I have shown commitment to Australian agriculture by raising the profile through presentations (invited) at both international and national conferences and by the transfer of knowledge to producers, growers & managers through reporting, newsletters and media releases. I am an Associate Editor for Fungal Biology and Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology.

Roles and responsibilities

Molecular Biology - including DNA/RNA extraction; community profiling (TRFLP/ARISA); DNA sequencing (Sanger and Next Gen using Ion Torrent) and quantitative PCR.

Statistics - in particular multivariate analysis of complex community profiling data using Primer.

Analytical – microscopy (SEM,CSLM, TEM); gas chromatography and techniques for the analysis of chemical, enzymatic and nutrient status of soils.

Teaching overview

Unit Coordinator:
ENVT1104 - Environmental Science and Technology
EART3339 - Land Rehabilitation

Teach into:
EART3360 - Soil/Plant Interactions
ENVT5510 - Soil Dynamics


Carbon – How can we address constraints to soil carbon storage?

Influence of soil matrix on microbial diversity and function with the following focus:

Water – How does it influence soil microbial diversity?
Habitat – Does mineral chemistry influence soil microbial populations?
Identity - In Australian ecosystems, are ammonia oxidising bacteria or archaea most dominant?

Understanding the mechanistic basis of rhizosphere strategies for enhancing phosphorus mobilisation in order to optimise phosphorus use

Application of next gen sequencing (Ion Torrent) and microarray technology to assess keystone soil microbial populations.

Integration of molecular technologies and multivariate statistical analysis.


  • Global warming and greenhouse effect
  • Microbial activity and nutrient cycling in agricultural soils
  • Microbial diversity
  • Microbial ecology
  • Molecular techniques
  • Soil biology

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 3 Similar Profiles
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granite Agriculture & Biology
microbial community Earth & Environmental Sciences
Minerals Medicine & Life Sciences
soil Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2004 2018

  • 1074 Citations
  • 18 h-Index
  • 33 Article
  • 2 Chapter
  • 1 Conference paper
  • 1 Doctoral Thesis
1 Citation (Scopus)

Biodegradability of polar compounds formed from weathered diesel

Bruckberger, M. C., Bastow, T. P., Morgan, M. J., Gleeson, D., Banning, N., Davis, G. & Puzon, G. J., 1 Oct 2018, In : Biodegradation. 29, 5, p. 443-461 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Complex Mixtures

Implications of co-contamination with aged heavy metals and total petroleum hydrocarbons on natural attenuation and ecotoxicity in Australian soils

Khudur, L. S., Gleeson, D. B., Ryan, M. H., Shahsavari, E., Haleyur, N., Nugegoda, D. & Ball, A. S., 1 Dec 2018, In : Environmental Pollution. 243, p. 94-102 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Natural attenuation
Heavy Metals
Heavy metals

Living on the edge: microbes and carbon cycling in mangrove soils along the west coast of Australia

Davies, T. K., 2018, (Unpublished)

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

dissolved inorganic carbon
4 Citations (Scopus)
Open Access
Fluorescence Spectrometry
Exudates and Transudates

Projects 2008 2017


ENVT1104 Environmental Science and Technology

Deirdre Gleeson

25/02/19 → …

Teaching unit (UWA): Course

ENVT3060 Soil Plant Interactions

Zed Rengel & Deirdre Gleeson

25/02/19 → …

Teaching unit (UWA): Course

Land Rehabilitation (EART3339)

Deirdre Gleeson, Andrew Rate & Daniel Murphy

27/02/12 → …

Teaching unit (UWA): Course

Soil Dynamics (ENVT5510)

Andrew Rate, Deirdre Gleeson & Matthias Leopold


Teaching unit (UWA): Course