Dr Peter Thorburn is a Senior Principal Research Scientist and Research Group Leader in CSIRO Agriculture and Food. He has strong multidisciplinary interests in the dynamics of soil-plant interactions and a commitment to enhancing the sustainability of agricultural systems. He received a B.Agr.Sc for the University of Queensland, then an M.Phil from Griffith University and a Ph.D from Flinders University in soil physics and plant physiology. He started his career working for the Queensland Dept of Primary Industries, then joined CSIRO in 1996 to focus on developing and applying simulation models to understand soil and plant interactions in agricultural production systems
Dr Thorburn’s research aims to develop agricultural management systems that can reduce detrimental environmental impacts while, still continuing to produce significant economic and social outcomes in current and future climates. His research has won international awards and has had substantial policy impact. Dr Thorburn is the CSIRO representative on the APSIM Initative, the joint venture that owns the APSIM farming systems model. He also co-leads the Crop Modelling stream of the Agricultural Modeling Improvement and Intercomparison Program (AgMIP) and is a member of the Science Advisory Group of New Zealand’s OVERSEER agricultural nutrient management model.