International Keynote



Michael McGuire is a Research Assistant & Biochar Policy Advisor with the Governor’s Office of California Planning and Research (OPR), where he manages the State’s Biochar Research and Market Development Initiative. He is also a graduate student at the University of California, Davis, where he is working to complete a master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Management. In addition, Michael received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2015, where he majored in Environmental Studies. While in college, Michael interned for the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, the UC Santa Cruz Campus Stewardship Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In those positions, he conducted water quality assessments on tributary streams in the Lake Tahoe basin, he also led ecosystem restoration projects on UC Natural Reserve Land and he assisted researchers at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center with rockfish stock assessments in the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. Since June of 2015, Michael has been at OPR where he launched a biochar research and policy development initiative to guide environmental stewardship efforts using biochar production as an alternative waste stream management practice for forest tree mortality and agricultural waste biomass. Through these efforts, OPR has built a coalition of state and federal agencies that are actively participating in a coordinated effort to evaluate the potential for biochar’s use to address several of California’s most challenging environmental concerns (climate change, drought, and severe forest tree mortality). Under OPR’s leadership, the State of California developed the first legally recognized definition of biochar in the United States via Assembly Bill 2511 (2015-2016 legislative session), which now provides the authority for the California Department of Food and Agriculture to regulate biochar products in California. This group has more recently focused on implementing market development initiatives in order to generate greater market confidence in biochar products.

Professor Tim McAllister – Principal Research Scientist, Ruminant Nutrition & Microbiology.  Tim’s area of expertise includes strategies for mitigation of fecal shedding of E. coli O157:H7 by cattle, including bacteriophage therapy, passive immunotherapy, electrolyzed oxidizing anode water, management strategies, and dietary intervention, e.g., brown seaweed; characterization of the digestive properties of cereal grains in beef cattle diets and development of methods to control the rate of cereal grain fermentation by beef cattle; prevention of pasture bloat and feedlot bloat in cattle; composting as a means of disposal of animal carcasses for containment of biohazardous agents; assessing the fate of transgenic DNA ingested by livestock in genetically modified crops used as feeds; characterization of effects of tannins on cellulose digestion by ruminants; quantification and characterization of methane emissions arising from livestock production; potential uses of plant extracts as alternatives to antibiotics in livestock production. The title of Tim’s presentation will be “Potential applications ‎of Biochar from mouth to manure in ruminant production”

MSc. Lotta Ek, the CEO of EcoTopic –  AB and the vice project manager for the Stockholm Biochar Project, has been working to develop the biochar industry in Sweden during the last 6 years. With a degree in civil engineering and science Lotta’s passion is in project management and developing sustainable business ideas. “I love how something so simple as biochar can be so complex. It gives us infinite possibilities and the challenge is just to stop talking and to start doing.” From writing the initial application for Bloomberg Philanthropies’ competition Mayors Challenge to writing the evaluation report three years later, Lotta has been a part of the Stockholm Biochar Project throughout the entire journey and she is hopeful about the biochar future ahead.

Everett Hale has 25 years experience in Engineering, Project Development, Technology Integration, and Technology Commercialization. He co-founded REEP development LLC in 2011 with the vision of identifying and vetting commercially viable technologies to serve humanitarian needs, solve environmental problems and produce profitable revenue for both our investors and our company. REEP is focused on four key areas (1) renewable fuel production, (2) electrical power generation, (3) food production, (4) water purification. REEP is a US partner of  Frontier impact Group based in Australia. REEP has strategic relationships with independent associates who are qualified in their own fields as chemical, electrical, mechanical, construction engineers, or have developed practical experience in farming, harvesting, shredding, drying, and feedstock conversion of biomass to diesel and electricity. These parties provide seasoned expertise for the development and implementation of specific projects.

Scott Morgan, Director, State Clearinghouse, Deputy Director of Administration, Governor’s Office of California, Planning and Research. Scott is the Director of the State Clearinghouse and Deputy Director of Administration for the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR).  He has 21 years of experience related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Protection Act, California planning and land-use laws and environmental regulations.   He is a member of the Association of Environmental Professionals, the American Planning Association, is the Principal from California to the Western Regional Partnership, a Department of Defense related partnership of 6 western states, is the OPR designee to Governor’s Military Council as well as the office designee to the Off-Shore Wind Energy Federal/State Task Force. Scott sits on a variety of state agency working groups and technical advisory committees.  Scott manages the office’s efforts to research and commercialize the use of Bio-Char in California.  Scott works with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBiz) on a variety of advanced manufacturing, electric vehicle, bio-char and cybersecurity projects.  Scott manages the day to day operations of the office as well as several special projects including CENSUS 2020, California Jobs Initiative, Tribal Consultation, Military Affairs, Higher Education Eligibility Study, development of a new CEQA database and several Federal Grant projects.

ANZ Keynote



Jennifer Lauber Patterson has a strong background in Board and advisory roles in Australia and internationally with 30 years’ experience in the energy, corporate advisory, banking and not for profit sector, Jennifer has specialised in the provision of financial, energy, and risk advisory services focusing on social and environmental impact. Jennifer is the co-founder and Managing Director of Frontier Impact Group (FIG), a board member of Sustainability Victoria, Chair of the Board for Yarra Energy Foundation and AFSL Responsible Manager, for Alcoa JV Partners (AEMA). The key focus for the Frontier Impact Group is renewable energy, sustainability farming and clean air and water. Over the last few years, as the Managing Director of Frontier Impact Group (including Frontier Carbon and Frontier Energy), Jennifer oversaw the development of innovative commercial business models and financial solutions that demonstrate with the right expertise and innovation we can move to a lower carbon economy and achieve social and financial prosperity. A philosophy to develop proven, innovative projects, businesses and programs, advise others of how to do it and to provide support for businesses and communities to benefit.  Jennifer commenced her career in 1987, in the energy sector where she held senior finance and energy portfolio derivative management roles and initially became involved in clean energy markets and sustainable farming solutions. She transitioned into the banking sector she successfully established and managed the electricity, carbon and environmental trading business for ANZ Bank.  In 2010 she developed and led the Environmental Treasury Solutions Business for NAB until 2012. Jennifer is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a CPA.

Professor Stephen Joseph – UNSW Stephen’s area of expertise includes, development of processes that recycle or value add to waste especially those that produce energy and a stable carbon that can be utilised to increase food production and help remediate degraded land. Design and evaluation of biogas, biodiesel, bioethanol and bio-oil plants, design and commercialisation of biochar and energy technology from stoves to large scale continuous plant, design and evaluation of waste minimisation processes and plant, development of biochar based integrated vermiculture/ aquaculture /hydroponics systems, design and testing, stoves, dryers, small kilns, furnaces, steam plant, pyrolysis and gasifiers that use biomass, coal, liquid or gaseous fuels, evaluation of biomass feed stocks and processed products, design and testing of advanced gas combustion equipment for turbines and for industrial processes, design of landfill energy systems, design, development and testing of air emissions control systems, impact assessment of toxic wastes and indoor air pollution. Stephen will present on “A Report on World Wide Commercialisation, Product Development and recent Research Findings.”

Peter Burgess spent 35 years in Australian and international operational, corporate and advisory roles involving conception, feasibility, financing, design, construction, risk management and operation of large mining and manufacturing projects. Peter held senior leadership roles with Alcoa in Western Australia, Victoria and USA, served as Chair of the Federal Government and Industry Light Metals Action Agenda, on the Board of Engineers Without Borders Australia and as consultant to Alumina Ltd and CSIRO Minerals and Energy. Peter believes that Australia, especially rural and regional areas, will gain significant environmental, social and economic benefits by using safe, efficient and clean 21st century technologies for the sustainable production of renewable energy from biomass residues that are currently burnt or landfilled. Peter’s career includes many examples where he has initiated or been a key player in the trialling and development and full implementation of new technologies including many environmental initiatives. Peter & Ina Stanley will co-present on “An update from Rainbow Bee Eater on the application of their ECHO2 technology by Holla Fresh and Van Schaik’s BioGro in South Australia.”

Ian Stanley is a third generation farmer, who, with his sons Travis and Clint, owns and operates a 25,000 Ha wheat and sheep farm in Kalannie in the Central Wheatbelt of Western Australia. During his farming career Ian has overseen the expansion of the farm from 5,500 Ha to its present size and planted and integrated over 1.2 million oil mallee trees on the farming property. Ian has become widely recognised as a spokesperson for the integrated farm forestry industry in Australia. In 2003 he was elected as President and Chairman of the Oil Mallee Association of Australia. Ian is passionate about growing small rural communities through new industry and farming enterprises. He has been awarded both the State and National Landcare Awards for Individuals. Nominated for his work in landcare, Ian was 1 of only 80 people selected to run with the Olympic Torch in Australia for the Beijing Olympics. Ian has been a Director of the Central Wheatbelt Football League for 14 years, 9 as Chairman. Ian currently serves on the Boards of RBE, Kalannie Distillers, a local eucalyptus oil manufacturing enterprise and Fares Rural, a company investing in Australian agricultural production. Ian will co-present with Peter Burgess on “An update from Rainbow Bee Eater on the application of their ECHO2 technology by Holla Fresh and Van Schaik’s BioGro in South Australia.”

Doug – Powbrook Doug is a Manjimup farmer that has discovered how to store carbon in the soil, reduce methane emissions from his cattle and improve the productivity of his whole farm. The cattle and avocado producer started feeding his cows biochar six years ago to see if he could store carbon in the ground using the natural system of dung beetles. He thought if researchers were burying biochar in the ground with machines in an attempt to store carbon and increase fertility, why couldn’t the dung beetles do it at no cost? Through further testing carried out by UNSW and the NSW DPI, we have now discovered multiple benefits in the soil that we thought were never possible. Doug is also conducting a trial using biochar in growing avocados. After three years, the rows with biochar have set almost three times the amount of fruit compared to the trial. Doug will present on updates with these two methods of growing meat, pastures and tree crops using biochar.

DR Lukas Van Zwieten – NSW DPI Lukas’ research focuses on soil processes including C and N cycling, and how these relate to greenhouse gas emissions; contaminants in the soil environment; and unravelling microbial, rhizosphere and soil chemical processes. His research on biochar was acclaimed in the 2007 United Nations’ World Environment Day Award “Meeting the Greenhouse Challenge,” and it has been popularised through the Australian Broadcasting Corporations Catalyst program (2007), a CNN “special report” in 2008, ABC’s Landline (2009) and Discovery Channels “Ecopolis” mini-series in 2009/10. He has published over 90 papers and book chapters and has over 5800 cites (Scholar). He is a Program Leader for the Cooperative Research Centre – High Performance Soils. Lukas will give us an overview on biochar research in 2017-18.

Professor Nanthi Bolan, who came from farming background and graduated from the University of Western Australia under the supervision of two leading soil scientists (Professor Alan Robson and Dr Jim Barrow). That experience was the ‘stepping stone’ for what has become an illustrious career in soil science with a particular emphasis on soil fertility. He has served as the Dean of Graduate Studies of the University of South Australia and as the leader of the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) Programme on Prevention Technologies.  His teaching and research interests include agronomic value of manures, fertilisers and soil amendments, soil acidification, nutrient cycling, pesticide and metal pollutants interactions in soils, soil remediation and waste and waste water management.

Annette Cowie has a background in soil science and plant nutrition, with particular interest in sustainable resource management. Annette contributes to development of policy for GHG abatement, including GHG accounting for emissions trading at state, national and international levels. Annette led the New Forests research program in the NSW DPI (2001-2009), researching environmental services from planted forests, and the Applications and Outreach program in the CRC Greenhouse Accounting 2002-2004. Annette was the Director of Rural Climate Solutions, an alliance between NSW DPI and the University of New England 2009- 2014. Annette was a member of interim Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee, assessing methodologies for the Carbon Farming Initiative 2010-2012. Since 2000 Annette has been a member of the International Energy Agency Bioenergy research network “Climate Change Effects of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems”, and currently leads this group. Since 2012 Annette has been the Land Degradation advisor on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility. She is a member of the Science Policy Interface of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

Christian Jirkowsky, based in the Hawkes Bay New Zealand, is Polytechnik Biomass Energy’s General Manager with twenty six years of experience in areas such as heat and power generation via wood, biomass and fossil fuels, emission control and heat recovery systems in markets such as Europe, Asia, Oceania and Americas. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering and is passionate about sustainable and renewable energy solutions. Christian is experienced in design and engineering of wood and biomass fuelled thermal energy plants as well as emission control system with a focus on leading-edge technologies. Not only due to his direct involvement in over 600 bioenergy plants he is recognized as one of the leading experts in the Bioenergy Industry in Australasia with particular expertise in: Industrial Energy Plants, Combined Heat and Power (Co- and Trigeneration), Combustion Solutions, Energy Recovery Systems, Energy from Wood and Forest Waste and Air Pollution Control.

ANZ Presenters



Richard Upperton is Business Development and Technical Mananger at PFS Energy Malaysia Waikato, New Zealand & now Kuching, Malaysia. He has taken PFS’ waste to energy technology to Malaysia to explore the opportunities there. We also have started trials with biochar with initial results showing real commercial value. A pilot project in Malaysia has been commissioned as of March this year with Biomass Capacity of 10T EFB/day, Energy Output of 1MW heat or 0.3MW electricity and a Biochar Output of 1.5T/Day with a 2019 upgrade planned to have a Biomass Capacity of 80T EFB/day, Energy Output of 8MW heat or 3MW electricity and a Biochar Output of 12T/day or 4250 Tonne per annum.

Stuart Larsson, Managing Director of Mara Seeds Pty Ltd and SOFT Agriculture Pty Ltd Stuart started developing Mara Seeds in 1967 initially as a primary production unit and then the addition of a value adding facility was developed. The land base for primary production has expanded from 200 hectares to 3000 hectares in that time. Over the past twenty years, the business has changed direction to organic agriculture, building a 750-breeder herd which grain assists progeny for a supermarket chain, a soybean production area of 816 hectares, maize and pasture seed area of 300 ha, as well as a hay and compost production system which is managed under the trademarked SOFT (Sustainable Organic Farming Techniques) management system. In 2012, SOFT Agriculture Pty Ltd was established as a marketing arm of Mara Seeds Pty Ltd. SOFT Agriculture’s vision is to offer farmers access to Biochar activated “carbon-smart” innovations that deliver superior animal and soil health productivity.

Ronald Alfred Leng is Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of New England (UNE). Ron studied Agricultural Chemistry at the University of Nottingham before coming to Australia in1959to pursue a PhD in the Faculty of Rural Science at UNE. On successful completion of his PhD he was appointed Lecturer in Nutrition in 1963 and was progressively promoted over the next 10 years to a Personal Chairin Nutritional Biochemistry. He was awarded a DRurScin 1972. Ron was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1991 for his contribution to the development of systems of using poor quality feeds for ruminant meat and milk production in Australia and in developing countries. Ron has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Iowa State University (USA) and Nihon University (Japan). The Australian Society of Animal Production made him a Fellow in 1996. In 2002, he received the Han Award from the Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies in recognition of his outstanding contribution to animal production of international significance.He has been a consultant to the governments of more than 40 countries through United Nations Development Programs.He retired from the University to undertake a private consultancy and to continue his research on a global scale. Ron has published in excess of 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has published eigh tbooks in areas related to animal production science.He has a Hirsch index of 56 and is ranked by Google citations profile in the top 1000 scientists in Australian institutions.

Frank Sanders – Healing Habitats Frank graduated from Swinburne university with degree in mechanical engineering and then began work with advance engine components working on natural gas vehicle systems. After a transition into the construction industry Frank then took up a community various development roles in Africa, PNG and vanuatu and completed his Masters in international and community development with DEAKIN university.  In 2014 Frank and his family took up a role to help with the establishment of a Coconut Technology Centre in the Solomon Islands. During this time Franks has work with Kokonut Pacific on their village based virgin coconut oil production system and organic farming practices.  The work with Kokonut Pacific gave Frank the  privilege of working with the ID Gasifier team to evaluate one of their research unit in as a means of value adding to coconut shell.  Frank also adapted grass roots technology in clean cook stoves and charcoal production learnt in vanuatu to Processing coconut palm stem as a cost effective means of reducing breading sites of the Coconut Rhynocerous Beetle pest.  Franks is currently working on projects with the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade community and collaborating with Paul Taylor on application of the Kon tiki cone kiln for small holder pacific coconut plantations.

Dr Wolfram Buss is a biologist with an interest in sustainable food systems. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Justus Liebig University (2010), a Master’s degree in Environmental Protection and Agricultural Food Production from Hohenheim University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (2012) and a PhD in Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences from the University of Edinburgh (2016). Wolfram has been researching on biochar since 2010. His PhD thesis presents his investigation of fate of contaminants during biochar production, as well as the fate and potential effects of contaminants and nutrients after biochar application. During his post-doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh, Wolfram explored methods to optimise biochar for nutrient provision and carbon sequestration. Wolfram is currently a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, working towards optimising biochar systems to support sustainable food and energy production.

Dragana Dana Stanley is an Associate Professor in Molecular Microbiology at Central Queensland University, Australia.  Dana is the leader of Intestinal Health at Central Queensland University and her main research interests are manipulation of intestinal microbiota, next generation probiotic development and organic alternatives to antibiotics for livestock pathogen control.  Dana is involved in both human health and livestock veterinary research promoting intestinal health in human, especially in relation to autoimmune disease and leaky gut, and in livestock, focused on poultry.

Associate Professor Alex Chaves is recognised as an expert in the measurement of methane emissions, having pioneered in vitro and in vivo techniques and assisted Brazil’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol. He received a Special Visiting Researcher Scholarship in 2013 under the CAPES (Science Without Borders) Program (Brazil) where he worked in collaboration with EMBRAPA-CNPGL and the Federal University of Sao Joao del Rei. He visited Brazil in 2014, 2015 and 2016, in each case for a three-month period. His research was further recognized in 2014 when, after a highly-competitive selection process, he was awarded a prestigious Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. He relocated to the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo) in 2015 and 2017 (in each case for a three-month period) and undertook a research collaboration (ongoing) with Prof Gerhard Breves. He is a Humboldtian for life, with various networking and other opportunities.  For example, in June 2015, he was invited to attend the Humboldt Foundation’s Annual General Meeting in Berlin, where he was privileged to introduce The University of Sydney/ TiHo research collaboration to the then-President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, then-Foreign Minister (now President) of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and then-President of the Foundation, Professor Helmut Schwarz. Dr Chaves has access to the Humboldt Life Network, the online platform where Humboldtians make contacts and explore research collaborations. Since 2013, he has applied for a total of 18 grants and my research projects have been awarded more than $460,000 in funding.

Dr David Tomlinson is a general chemist with wide interests especially in surface interactions. He likes to be considered as a separations specialist & has had a diversity of jobs from pharmaceuticals to forensics along with bread, beer & wine, with a relatively small number of publications & a handful of international patents. He is probably best remembered for his affidavits in several high profile legal cases, & for taking on CBH in WA over the quality of a new wheat variety, Wilgoyne, which was being downgraded because of its pale colouring. He & Professor Stephen Joseph went to the same primary & secondary schools & were taught by the same chemistry teacher.

Khory Hancock is an Environmental and Sustainability Advisor, that focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Khory has worked across a number of different industries, and has a particular interest in and passion for carbon farming. Khory is now helping to develop new carbon farming methodologies in Australia that will help to progress the carbon industry. He is now working on a current methodology for soil and blue carbon using open ocean seaweed farming, that he believes could be a game changer in terms of climate change action and industry growth.

Dr Terry Rose has a BSc.Agr (2000) The University of Sydney & PhD (2008) The University of Western Australia. He is an agronomist with a strong interest in the mineral nutrition of crop plants. He has a particular interest in phosphorus and developing crop cultivars with tolerance to nutrient deficiency stress. Current projects involve: internal nutrient utilization efficiency in crops – what does it really mean and can we exploit genotypic differences,physiology and regulation of phosphorus loading into developing grains, rhizosphere processes in lowland rice production – how do efficient genotypes acquire phosphorus,nutrient stress tolerance traits in Australian native rice, agronomy and nutrition of tea tree, greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation options in subtropical crops (rice, sugarcane, tea tree, coffee, avocado, blueberries, bananas), the impact of composts and biochar on nutrient cycling and soil biology, and the impact of herbicides on soil biology. Prior to undertaking a PhD, I worked as an extension agronomist with NSW Department of Agriculture in Wagga Wagga and then the Hunter Valley, and worked for a private agronomic company in the United Kingdom. From April 2010 until August 2011, I worked in plant biosecurity for Plant Health Australia, a not-for-profit company funded by industry and government based in Canberra.

Dr Ruy Anaya de la Rosa as Project Director for our global Biochar for Sustainable Soils (B4SS) initiative. Ruy is passionate about the potential of biochar to improve soil fertility and sustainability. Ruy’s experience includes biochar, carbon markets, life cycle analysis and the uptake of appropriate technology in less developed countries. Ruy has a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science, a Masters of Science in Sustainable Energy Technology and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical with Electrical Engineering.While born in Mexico, Ruy’s life and work have taken him around the globe and he is fluent in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, German and Swedish.The purpose of B4SS is to share knowledge and build capacity regarding the use of innovative biochar-based organic amendments for sustainable soils and land management. In this way the project aims to support rural livelihoods for small landholders, enhance productivity, improve the capture and efficient use of nutrients, address declining soil fertility, contribute to watershed management and strengthen resilience to climate change. Funding of USD2m has been secured from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for this purpose. The project will leverage an additional USD1¼m of value through collaboration with existing biochar projects from six countries. These projects span a range of different soils, climates and cultures with the core focus being. Vietnam ~ rice straw biochar to improve soil fertility and sequester carbon, Ethiopia & Kenya ~ use of biochar to aid the return of nutrients to depleted cropping soils, Indonesia ~ working with an existing network of 1,750 small-scale women farmers with dryland cropping systems to improve soils affected by the 2004 tsunami, China ~ testing biochar for immobilising heavy metals, Peru ~ biochar to reduce deforestation and improve crop productivity.

Dr Zhanying Zhang holds a PhD (University of Adelaide), Masters of Engineering (Research). His research interests and expertise include biomass pretreatment and biorefining, biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials, process optimisation and scale-up. Current projects advanced biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass pretreatment for improved  biogas production.  Professional experience includes, 2016 – present, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities (CTCB), QUT, 2014 – 2016, Research Fellow, CTCB, QUT, 2008 – 2014, Research Fellow, Syngenta Centre for Sugar Cane Biofuels Development, CTCB, QUT.

Dr Adrian Morphett is an environmental engineer with over 17 years experience in energy and carbon sector. He is specialised in conducting greenhouse gas and energy audits to comply with the relevant regulations and standards; and providing specialist technical, engineering and commercialisation consulting on biomass and bioenergy technologies, and industrial and commercial building energy efficiency projects. Adrian has had a varied career spanning several industries including petrochemical, government, academia, energy design and mechanical drafting. He oversees the operations of the Charmaker, a patented advanced technology system that he co-invented set up at a landfill site in suburban Melbourne. It produces quality Char to International Class 1 standards and Wood Vinegar known as the Green Man range.

Arthur Cortez Pires de Campos Arthur is interested in agricultural and renewable energy applications. He completed his bachelor degree in Agriculture Engineering and in Renewable Energy as postgrad from the University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil. Currently, he is completing his Master of Engineering at Massey University, in New Zealand, supported by the NZ Development Scholarship Program. His project looks into developing guidelines for biochar production to achieve the lowest possible carbon footprint to deliver the best sequestration outcome. His aim is to provide the best practices to produce biochar that meets the emissions and quality standards.

Paul Taylor graduated with the University Medal in Physics from the University of NSW, received a PhD from University of Colorado, and worked at harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and MIT. He now lives in both Australia and the U.S., researching and presenting on biochar and climate change.


Laura Fell MBA FAICD – Laura’s is an experienced director in private and public sector boards and holds a Master of Business Administration. A successful rural producer and businesswoman, she is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. Her interest in biomass and electricity generation is drawn from a passion for assisting sustainability of rural and regional communities.

John Thomas PhD GAICD John is a “systems integrator” who brings together projects in the information technology, communications and power sectors. With a PhD in Physical Chemistry and some thirty five years of experience in major project delivery, John is currently leading two projects to establish power generation plants in SA.  Both are proposed to include the creation of bio-char as an important by product. John is a GAICD, and in his spare time works on data security as an Information Security Auditor and Information Security Manager.

James Joyce is a PhD and MBA qualified chemical engineer with nearly 30 years industry experience in a wide variety of roles, in the bioenergy, renewables and sugar milling sectors. His experience spans across R&D, process modelling, design, commissioning, operations/maintenance supervision and commercialisation. James used this experience to co-invent the BIGCHAR continuous carbonisation technology in 2008 and since then has overseen 20 implementations of the technology across eight countries.

Kelly Bryant  (Australian Biomass for Bioenergy Assessment, Queensland project officer) has been working as a soil scientist with the Queensland Government for the past 10 years within the landscape sciences division. She has been involved in a diverse range of work across Queensland from Digital Soils Mapping (using remotely sensed data to model soil attributes), developing indicators to identify wetland soils, salinity risk assessments to writing websites on soil management. In the last 5 years she has also been heavily involved in the Queensland Government Open Data initiative. This initiative aims to make all Qld government data available online and in accessible formats through various platforms. She is currently working with other state teams across Australia to deliver consistent and publically available information on biomass feedstocks through the Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure online platform, as part of the Australian Biomass for Bioenergy Assessment. This assessment will assist project developers make decisions for new bioenergy projects, and provide linkages between potential biomass feedstocks – through the supply chain – to end users.


Trevor Barrows is General Manager of Charman based in Victoria. Education Degree Electrical/Mechanical Engineering; Masters in Logistics (Monash). His experience includes: developing a solution for carbon accounting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for companies based on ANZ and international standards; working with Local/State Government in development  and feasibility of biomass/bioenergy/biochar initiatives;  involvement in the development of continuous carbonisation equipment (Pyrocal); marketing of Better Earth Products (BEP) focusing on the Biochar market including: retail garden centre distribution and clubs (Diggers); landscaping, forestry, agricultural, horticultural, waste centre biomass conversion, biochar gas filters and developing innovative industrial opportunities.

Dr. Alexandru Let – Technical Manager State Asphalt part of Kypreos Group – I graduated from Polytechnic Institute Bucharest with degree in chemical engineering and PhD degree from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. My area of expertise includes nanotechnology application in material construction, including development of processes that use recycle materials in construction industry. My experience includes biochar, toner (from recycling cartridge printer) and crumb rubber used as additive in asphalt industry. Recently I joined the Kypreous Group after 9 years with Boral where my last position was National Development Engineer was engaged in research, developing new products.

Michael Farrar – University of Sunshine Coast is a frustrated farmer now pursuing an academic career because of his love for horticulture and ability to share his knowledge and skills with students at University of the Sunshine Coast. He has an interest in on-farm efficiency and precision agriculture especially in nutrient delivery. He completed his Bachelor of Environmental Science / Bachelor of Business (Mgt) at USC in 2004 and following employment in the public sector returned to work the university. Employed as a sessional staff member he has taught a variety of Statistics, Business and Environmental Science subjects. Michael completed his Honours in Environmental Science in 2016 and is currently completing his PhD ‘Nutrient assessment, use and cycling in organic horticultural management systems’. His current work is in developing mathematical models to predict nutrients in soils and plants amended with biochar by using hyperspectral imaging technology. He is a managing partner at Mt. Mellum Horticulture which has specialised in growing ginger and turmeric on the Sunshine Coast for 10 years.

Dr Shane McIntosh is a Biochemist and is currently a Research Fellow at Southern Cross University. Shanes research interests include biorefining, biofuels and biochemicals, nutrient recovery and recycling and waste valorisation. Biorefining takes advantage of diversification in organic feedstock components and employs a variety of technology platforms to maximize the value derived from those feedstocks by producing multiple valuable biobased products like bio- fuels, chemicals, feeds, fibre and energy. Generally, physical, thermal, chemical and biological processes are configured and combined to achieve a desired portfolio of value added products. Shane’s research objectives are to generate and evaluate these bioprocessing strategies for the recovery and recycling of energy, nutrients and fibre for the production of bioproducts.

GARRY MCDOUALL is a senior consultant & facilitator with Resource Consulting Services, a national consultant to the agricultural sector. Garry has been a merchant banker, a farmer for 30 years, and has been heavily involved in community affairs since returning to the country in 1984. His strength is in strategic thinking, understanding how complex issues can be simply addressed, and in being a catalyst for change.  He describes himself as a “specialist generalist”. He was the inaugural President of Bingara & District Vision 2020, which facilitated a Vision for that community under the theme of “Regeneration”, and has been deeply involved in extending that vision to 2030 and for the whole of the Gwydir Shire. He has been a key driver in the formation and development of The Living Classroom, a major project on the Bingara town Common. This is focused on regenerative farming and combines elements of  agriculture, tourism, regional conferencing and education.  He is currently Board Chair of The Carbon Farm. Garry is very positive about the future of farming and of smaller rural communities, and in readying people to look for the opportunities in change.

Dr Jessica Shepherd completed her PhD in Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in July 2017. She investigated ways to recover nutrients from organic wastes for use in agricultural fertilisers with a sustainable systems focus. Jessica’s research demonstrated that by producing biochar  from anaerobically digested sewage sludge, the nutrient-rich biochar could be used as a filter to extract additional nutrients from wastewater effluent and subsequently as a phosphorus fertiliser. In addition, the system used to produce sewage sludge biochar (anaerobic digestion coupled with pyrolysis) is carbon negative whilst producing energy. Jessica has an ongoing interest the areas of nutrient recycling and circular economy concepts.

ANZ Poster Presenters



Sam Van Holsbeeck- Since June 2015, Sam graduated his Master’s as an Industrial Engineer in the Bioscience Technology: Agriculture and Horticulture at Ghent University, Belgium. In between his graduation and the start of his PhD in April 2017, he was regularly employed as a causal worker for environmental research at the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium, the University of Melbourne, Charles Darwin University and the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Sam started his doctoral study at the University of the Sunshine Coast under supervision of Dr. Mohammad Ghaffariyan, Prof. Mark Brown and Dr. Sanjeev Srivastava. The proposed title for his PhD is “Determining the potential contribution of utilizing forest biomass resources for bioenergy production and climate change mitigation”. The project is a part of Australian Biomass for Bioenergy Assessment (ABBA). In November 2017, Sam was successful in receiving the Gottstein Trust Forest Industry Scholarship.


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