2013 Lecturer | Dr. Mike McLaughlin

About the Lecturer

Dr. Mike McLaughlin is Chief Research Scientist in the Environmental Biogeochemistry program of CSIRO Land and Water. As well, he is Stream Leader of the Soil Nutrients and Contaminants Stream in CSIRO’s Agricultural Sustainability Flagship. His other roles include:

  • Con-joint Professor in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide
  • One of the five international scientists on the Metals Environmental Research Associations’ Ecotoxicity Technical Advisory Panel
  • President of the World Council of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry


  • 1977: B.S., University of Ulster, Ireland
  • 1979: M.S., Agricultural Science, University of Reading, United Kingdom
  • 1986: Ph.D., University of Adelaide, South Australia


  • 2011: International Plant Nutrition Institute’s Science Award
  • 2008: ASA Fellow
  • 2008: International Award from the Soil Science Society of America
  • 2008: Researcher of the Year from the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation
  • 2008: SSSA Fellow
  • 2007: First Leo M. Walsh Soil Fertility Distinguished Lectureship


Dr. McLaughlin is an internationally recognized leader in the study of trace elements and nutrients in the terrestrial environment. His research interests are now principally in:

  • Advanced techniques to measure and monitor nutrients and pollutants in the environment
  • Biogeochemistry of nutrients and pollutants in soils
  • Environmental chemistry and toxicology, specifically the assessment and remediation of contaminated soils

He also manages research related to the Infrared Soil Analysis Service, which uses mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy for the rapid non-destructive analysis of soil physical and chemical properties. Before joining CSIRO in 1991, he worked as a research scientist at the Soil and Irrigation Research Institute in South Africa on sustainability issues relating to wastewater and sewage biosolids disposal on soils, particularly relating to metals and phosphorus. He has also worked on issues relating to acidic soils and reactions of fertilizer phosphorus and fluoride in soils.