David Houlbrooke



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AgResearch Ruakura


I come from an agriculture background having been brought up on family sheep and beef farms in the Wairarapa and the Waikato.


I began studying the discipline of soil science in 1991 while completing a B.Sc in Earth Sciences at the University of Waikato followed by M.Sc research investigating the impacts of soil aeration on soil physical properties, root development and pasture growth. I subsequently spent three years working for the Western Australian Dept. of Agriculture looking into soil water-logging, drainage and crop growth.


Upon my return to New Zealand in 2001, I undertook a soil science PhD at Massey University investigating the improved management for the land application of farm dairy effluent and the impact of intensive dairy farming on nutrient loss through artificial drainage systems.


In 2004, I began employment with AgResearch as a soil scientist at the Invermay campus near Mosgiel where I was until 2011 when I transferred to the Ruakura campus in Hamilton hold the position of Science Team Leader for the Envionmental Research Team. My current research interests focus on management of farm dairy effluent, soil and forage response to land use intensification, and best environmental management practices under intensive dairy farming.