Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Associate Professor Phil Eberbach

Associate Professor Phil Eberbach

BAgSc LaTrobe, PhD Melb

Dr Eberbach graduated with a B Agr Sc from La Trobe University and PhD from University of Melbourne in 1989. His doctoral studies investigated the residual behaviour of pesticides in soil

Following completion of his PhD, Dr Eberbach worked as a Weed Physiologist with CSIRO's Division of Water Resources in Griffith. In this position he investigated the behaviour of a variety of pesticides in the aquatic plant Alligator Weed.

Since joining Charles Sturt University in 1990, Dr Eberbach's research interests have focussed on two areas: 1) the non-target impact of pesticides in the environment and 2) the water balance of agricultural landscapes. The particular emphasis of the latter research interest is to gain further understanding of how plant roots develop through soils and of their ability to take capture soil water. To enable him to more fully develop his latter interest, Dr Eberbach received an ARC grant in 1995 to construct an Automated Drainage Lysimeter complex, a facility which enables real time root growth to be quantified.

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  • Opportunities for perennial wheat in Australia: An investigation into aspects of perenniality and root function under differing conditions across the Australian wheatbelt (CRC FFI)
  • Introducing legume and minimum tillage in rice and maize farming systems in the DPRK (ACIAR)
  • Sequencing crop rotations that best utilize lucerne biopores to control groundwater recharge and maintain dry catchments (GRDC)
  • Improved water management through understanding plant responses and adaptation in native vegetation to water availability, evaporative demand and climatic and soil physico-chemical constraints (CRC PBMDS)



Dr Eberbach currently teaches in the area soil science, soil management and water policy and management.


Dr Eberbach has a strong interest in postgraduate education at the Honours, Masters and PhD level. His current students include:

  • Estela Pasuquin - sensitivity of rice to high atmospheric temperatures
  • Chris O'Neill - Water Productivity, Soil and Irrigation Variability of Sprinkler, Drip and Furrow Irrigated Maize
  • Sam North - a comparison of water use under wheat and canola in the Murray Valley

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Dr Eberbach's interests include:

  • Impact of tillage on soil architecture,
  • Ecohydrology of indigenous Australian and agricultural ecosystems
  • Plant roots and rhizosphere processes

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Doran G, Eberbach P and Helliwell S (2008). The mobility of thiobencarb and fipronil in two flooded rice-growing soils Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B , 43:6 , 490 - 497.

Hayes R, Dear B, Peoples M, Orchard B and Eberbach P (2008). Response of subterranean clover, balansa clover and gland clover to lime when grown in mixtures on an acid soil Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 59.

Doran G, Eberbach PL and Helliwell S (2006). The impact of rice plant roots on the reducing conditions in flooded rice soils. Chemosphere.

Eberbach PL and Burrows GE (2006). The transpiration response by four topographically distributed Eucalyptus species, to rainfall occurring during drought in south eastern Australia Physiologia Plantarum 127, 483-493.

Doran G, Eberbach PL, Helliwell S (2006). The sorption and degradation of the rice pesticides fipronil and thiobencarb on two Australian rice soils. Australian Journal of Soil Research. 44, 599-610.

Doran G, Helliwell S and Eberbach PL (2005). Extraction of fipronil and thiobencarb from anaerobic water samples using solid-phase extraction. Journal of the Association of Analytical Chemists 88, 854-859.

Eberbach PL and Pala M (2005). Crop row spacing and its influence on transpiration and soil evaporation in winter grown wheat in northern Syria . Plant and Soil 268, 195-208.

Eberbach PL (2003). The eco-hydrology of partly cleared, native ecosystems in southern Australia -a review Plant and Soil 257, 357-369.

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