Dr Maryam Esfandbod, Griffith University

Dr Maryam Esfandbod is a Manager and Research Fellow for Environmental Biogeochemistry Research Lab (EBRL)at Griffith University. She is Soil Biochemist with strong expertise and experience on remediation of contaminated sites, soil carbon and nutrient (nitrogen) dynamics and their interactions in agro-ecosystems, soil and water environmental chemistry and remediation, environmental impacts of recycled organics application in land and water and waste management, contaminants and microplastic.

Prof Chengrong Chen, Griffith University

Dr Chengrong Chen is a Professor in Environmental Biogeochemistry, School of Environment and Science, Griffith University. In the past 25 years, Prof Chen’s research areas include: biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems and the interface of land and water, soil-plant root-microbe interaction, mine rehabilitation, restoration of degraded ecosystems and agricultural disposal of recycled organics and biochar application and fertilization. In particular, Prof Chen has been studying soil N and P availability and dynamics, soil microbial process, diversity and function, soil health, using 33P, 15N and 13C isotopic techniques, molecular biology and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.


Dr Mehran Rezaei-Rashti, Griffith University

Dr Rezaei Rashti is a Soil Biogeochemist at Australian Rivers Institute (Griffith University). He has graduated from the Guilan University (Iran) with MSc (Soil Physics and Conservation) and BSc (soil science) and from the Griffith University with a PhD in soil science. He has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Griffith University, since 2014. Dr Rezaei Rashti has extensive experience in the research of soil carbon and nutrient cycling, litter decomposition and nutrient dynamics, greenhouse gas emission, and nutrient use efficiency in intensively managed cropping systems. He is a member of the International Advisory Committee, the International Society for Environmental Biogeochemistry.

Prof Andrew Ball, RMIT

Professor Andrew Ball has over 30 year’s research experience in environmental microbiology. He started his career as a Research Fellow at Liverpool University and held the position of Reader at the University of Essex, UK where he was a member of staff for 16 years.   In 2005 he was appointed Foundation Chair of Environmental Biotechnology at Flinders University and Director of Flinders Bioremediation. In January 2012, Andy was appointed Professor of Environmental Biotechnology at RMIT University and from November 2013 as Director of the newly formed Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Remediation (EnSuRe). In 2016 Andy was appointed RMIT Distinguished Professor.


Dr Georgina Davis, Queensland Farmers Federation

Georgina is a Doctor of Engineering and holds master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering (MEng) and Education (MEd).  She is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Chartered Waste Manager, with over 25 years international experience.  She has an Adjunct within the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University and holds numerous Committee and Board positions.

Georgina provides policy advice to the State’s peak farming body, Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and its members.  She also provides both policy advice and peer-review to governments and government departments across a range of initiatives.  Her current fields of research include the water-energy-climate nexus and the impact of emerging contaminants on agricultural systems.

Martin Tower, Phoenix Power Recyclers

Martin graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served as a British Army and subsequently Australian Army officer. On leaving military service, Martin completed an MBA and moved into management consulting which lead to engagements in sustainable energy development where he had a leading role in the establishment of a waste to energy company specialising in the application of high-powered ultrasonics to anaerobic digestion.

He also became involved in the composting industry, especially regarding intensive agriculture by-products and more recently has commenced product development and marketing activities for the use of urban-derived composts into mainstream agriculture.


Dr Rob Fearon, Qld Water

Rob has been with the Queensland Water Directorate (qldwater) for 12 years, commencing in the role of CEO in 2006. In 2011 he took on the role of Director, Innovation Partnerships to manage the Queensland Water Regional Alliances Program. His focus is on regulatory and structural reforms to improve the sustainability of the Queensland urban water and sewerage sector. Prior to qldwater, Rob was CEO of the national Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management and has held roles at the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, University of Queensland and the CSIRO. His key interests are in cooperative approaches for water industry management, policy, planning and research.