Dr Margaret Roper, wearing glasses and smiling.

Dr Margaret Roper won a Eureka prize in 2004.

Dr Margaret Roper: specialising in soil microbiology

Dr Margaret Roper specialises in soil and plant associated microbiology, in particular, the impact of sandy soils and farming practices on crop yields.

  • 2 May 2006 | Updated 17 March 2014

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Publishing History


Page 1 of 2

Current activities 

Dr Margaret Roper is currently working on several projects, including;

  • crown rot resistant bread wheat through new knowledge of epidemiology & genetics
  • towards improving nitrogen use efficiency using biological nitrification inhibitors (BNIs)
  • carbon sequestration into soils under perennial pastures
  • reducing water repellency in sandy soils in the Western Region.

Dr Roper is investigating the impact of farming practices on water repellence in sandy soils.


Dr Roper has more than 30 years experience researching soil biology including microbial interactions and the impacts of farming practices on soil microbial populations.

She has worked on zero-tillage systems and their impact on soil organic matter, microbial functions and water repellency.

Dr Roper began her career working on biocontrol in estuarine sediments.

Between 1999 and 2006, in collaboration with Professor Chris Franco (Flinders University of South Australia), she researched biocontrol agents of root diseases in projects funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) on actinomycete endophytes to improve grain yields.

During her career Dr Roper has successfully led and delivered on projects on water repellency, zero-tillage, endophytes, nonsymbiotic nitrogen fixation.

She has partnered in other projects on soil carbon, biological nitrification inhibitors, and Fusarium crown rot.

Academic qualifications

Dr Roper has been awarded a:

  • Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours from the University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  • Doctor of Philosophy from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.


Dr Roper collaborated with Professor Chris Franco from Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, on the use endophyte actinomycetes to increase cereal yields. For this work they were awarded the Australian Museum Eureka Prize in 2004.

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