Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This is an advanced unit linking soil chemistry and biology in the soil-water-plant-microbe continuum, emphasising interactions that govern soil health and fertility. It deals with nutrient cycling in soils with respect to nutrient offtake in agricultural products as well as losses to ground- and surface waters and air. Students gain an understanding of the chemical equilibria and processes in soil solution and at the solid surfaces as well as how soil microbiome abundance and diversity influence soil ecological services.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of soil processes governing cycling of macro- and micronutrients from soils to microorganisms, plants and animals; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the balance between nitrogen fertilisation to enhance food production and minimise undesirable export of reactive nitrogen species from soils; (3) assess the importance of soil microbiome abundance and diversity in organic matter decomposition versus carbon sequestration in soil; (4) demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of soil ecological services in the context of climate change and variability; (5) analyse experimental data; (6) explain analysis of experimental data; and (7) classify relevant soil science information in the context of soil health and ecological services in natural and managed ecosystems.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar presentation; (2) reports; and (3) quiz. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Zed Rengel
Unit rules
Successful completion of
one Unit(s) ENVT3060 Soil–Plant Interactions
or AGRI4409 Fundamentals of Agricultural Science
Contact hours
12x 3 hour workshops during semester. The total workload for the unit is 150 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.