Frances Hoyle

Associate Professor, Ms

  • The University of Western Australia (M082), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • The University of Western Australia (M089), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile


  • BSc (Science)
  • MSc (Agriculture)
  • PhD (Soil Biology)

Active research and communication in soil biology and organic matter management within the grains industry. Functional assessment of soil process rates and changes in carbon fractions, including their influence on agronomic responses in grains.

Past research in wheat agronomy and physiological development - in particular the development of specific grade agronomic packages and mechanisms responsible for the incidence of black point.

Roles and responsibilities

Associate Dean Community and Engagement Faculty of Science

UWA Faculty of Science Executive Member

Invited Deputy Chair for Soil and Land Conservation Ministerial Advisory Committee

Director SoilsWest Alliance

  • Develop forum for cross industry network and partnership in soil research created by facilitating networking and communication opportunities between soil scientists and partners to ensure better soil water management and conversion into grain.
  • Create and support investment opportunities in grains R&D capacity and partnerships to increase value of knowledge and information delivery to growers.
  • Create network to connect research from the micro-scale work through to the paddock, increasing its relevance and value to growers and industry.
  • Provide integration opportunities in soil research to achieve efficient allocation of resources and value added delivery.
  • Create opportunities for Western Australia to attract a greater proportion of new industry funding into relevant soil research.

Funding overview

  • GRDC Increasing knowledge and profitability of cropping on Ironstone gravel soils (2019-2021)
  • SoilsWest/GRDC Soil Quality iBook Series (2018-2022)
  • GRDC Increasing Profit From N, P and K Fertiliser Inputs 2018-2022
  • GRDC Nutrient re-distribution and availability in ameliorated and cultivated soils (2018-2022)
  • GRDC Improved sampling methods to better predict nutrient availability for soils (2019-2021)
  • Australia China Joint Research Centre: Healthy Soils for Sustainable Food Production & Environmental Quality (O'Donnell; 2016-2020)
  • SoilsWest Alliance (2015-2022)
  • DAFF Funding Research Gaps National soil carbon program (WA Node) (2012-2015)
  • DAFF Action on the Ground The economies of managing soil organic carbon (2012-2015)
  • GRDC Soil organic matter extension and communication in WA (2012-2015)
  • GRDC/DAFF Fertiliser Management Strategies for Decreasing on Farm Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Barton; 2009-2012)
  • Land & Water Australia Healthy Soils (2006-2008)
  • ACC/GRDC Healthy Soils Program: Soil quality I (Murphy; 2003-2006)
  • GRDC Green manures (2000-2003)

Previous positions

  • Invited expert; GRDC Online Farm Trials Steering Committee (2015 - current)
  • National Grains Research, Development and Extension Committee Member (University sector) (2015-2018)
  • Visiting Chinese High-end Foreign Experts, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). Research and postgraduate supervision/lecturing (2015-16)
  • Soil Carbon Technical Working Group Member, Department of Agriculture (formerly DAFF), Australian Federal Government. Invited member of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) National Working Group for the development of a National Soils RD&E framework. (2011-2015)
  • Theme Leader Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (Soils, Climate, Agronomy).
  • Project Manager Agronomy; Project Manager Soil Research.
  • Senior Research Scientist (Department of Agriculture Western Australia) 2001-2015. Various.
  • Western Panel Member Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) 2008-2011
  • DAFF Funding the Research Gaps (Climate Change Program); Invited Member Expert Evaluation Panel (2008)
  • Knowledge Broker (Land & Water Australia) 2007-2008 secondment

Current projects

  • GRDC Increasing Profit From N, P and K Fertiliser Inputs (2017-2021)
  • GRDC Nutrient re-distribution and availability in ameliorated and cultivated soils in the Western Region (2018-2021) 
  • Soil Quality eBooks (2018-2022)
  • Australia China Joint Research Centre: Healthy Soils for Sustainable Food Production & Environmental Quality (2016-2020)
  • SoilsWest Alliance (2015-2021)


Industrial relevance

University: Provide strategic leadership and direction for community and engagement across to elicit greater public awareness of the role for science at UWA in addressing local and global imperatives, resulting in genuine and valued interactions with scientists, educators and mentors. 

Research: Strategic development and leadership. As Director, having established a ‘shopfront’ for SoilsWest in 2016 and hosting industry workshops, seminar series networking events at UWA, coordinating statewide soils events (e.g. 2018 Soil Quality Futures Symposium, World Soils Day Events), bringing together researchers to develop funding frameworks and representing WA interests in soil carbon at a State, National and Global level; have been the trigger for closer research linkages and relationships with industry funding bodies and other research delivery organisations and established working documents for future soil research investments and frameworks.

High industry impact is evident in my research role having been awarded the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Seed of Light Award for excellence in research communication, as a finalist in the Premier’s Science Awards and by invitation to Government (Soil Carbon Technical Working Group; Expert Panel Australia’s Farming Futures; National Grains RDE Committee Member; Land & Water Australia Knowledge Broker) and funding advisory bodies (GRDC Western Panel Member; Agronomy, Soils and Farming Systems).


Soil organic matter (carbon) management and microbial processes in grain production systems.
Comparative assessment of soil function in different management systems including green manures, stubble burning, tillage, rotational sequence and soil amendments. Development of mid-infrared (MIR) models for the prediction of carbon and carbon fractions in Western Australia.



Industry keywords

  • Agriculture and Food
  • Education
  • Government

Research expertise keywords

  • Soil carbon sequestration: methodology and processes
  • Soil Biology
  • Agriculture
  • Community collaboration and engagement
  • Communication Networks
  • Organic matter preservation in soil and peat


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