Han Weng

Dr Han Weng


School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Han is a lecturer in soil science in the School of Agriculture, Food & Wine. His primary interests and passion in teaching and research are soil processes, more specifically, how we can better manage, conserve, and regenerate our soils in a changing climate for a sustainable future. Previously, he has led research across three states at NSW DPI, La Trobe University (VIC), and The University of Queensland QLD).
Han’s research has global implications for the protection and restoration of soil organic carbon. As direct evidence of how his research impacts on climate change policy making, his first-author papers in Nature Climate Change and Soil Biology & Biochemistry were cited in policy recommendations by the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, Royal Society (UK), PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to assist policy makers from 195 countries in developing climate policy in agriculture. This is a rare achievement for an early career researcher and highlights the potential of his soil carbon research for policy adaptation.

By improving our ability to describe the factors that drive the stabilisation, protection, and persistence of soil organic matter, this will not only enable opportunities for improving management of soils to enable increased capture and stabilisation of organic carbon, but it will also enable us to make better predictions of changes in the soil carbon reservoir itself as a result of global changes in the climate. This is especially important in Australia given the large areas of agricultural land, and the potential to optimise crop rotations, increase retention of crop residues, and improve other land management strategies.

Han’s research aims at understanding the fundamental drivers controlling the persistence of soil organic carbon. His first-author publications feature in Nature Climate Change (IF 28.9), Nature Communications (IF 16.6), and Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology (IF 11.8). His achievement also includes one Highly Cited Paper as the first author in Nature Climate Change, which ranks in the top 1% in the field of environmental sciences, and the most downloaded article in 2021 (10,419 times) and the most cited article in 2022 in Global Change Biology Bioenergy.

In addition to his academic excellence, Han’s research has already had considerable impact in the grains industry in Australia. He has established links with key industry partner organizations and government agencies, including the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), CSIRO, Agriculture Victoria and Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD DAF). His research brings practical benefits on management practice. He has developed new techniques to fingerprint soil carbon functionality and distribution which can provide important indicators for soil health and productivity under climate extremes. He has been interviewed by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) and featured three times on GRDC Groundcover and one podcast for his synchrotron experiments on soil carbon studies.

Han has fostered and maintained strong international collaboration, including with Technical University of Munich (Germany), Cornell University (USA), the Instituto Nacional de Metrologia (National Institute of Metrology) (Brazil), and Rothamsted Research (UK). His diverse publication record reflects the strong professional network he has established and his ability to work productively with large teams of researchers from academic and government institutions. He continues to collaborate with early mentors, indicative of his ability to maintain strong professional relationships.

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2024 Weng, Z. H., Kopittke, P. M., Schweizer, S., Jin, J., Armstrong, R., Rose, M., . . . Tang, C. (2024). Shining a Light on How Soil Organic Carbon Behaves at Fine Scales under Long-Term Elevated CO<inf>2</inf>: An 8 Year Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Study. Environmental Science and Technology, 58(20), 8724-8735.
    2023 Luutu, H., Rose, M. T., McIntosh, S., Van Zwieten, L., Weng, H. H., Pocock, M., & Rose, T. J. (2023). Phytotoxicity induced by soil-applied hydrothermally-carbonised waste amendments: effect of reaction temperature, feedstock and soil nutrition. Plant and Soil, 493(1-2), 647-661.
    2023 Chen, Y., Du, Z., Weng, Z., Sun, K., Zhang, Y., Liu, Q., . . . Van Zwieten, L. (2023). Formation of soil organic carbon pool is regulated by the structure of dissolved organic matter and microbial carbon pump efficacy: A decadal study comparing different carbon management strategies. Global Change Biology, 29(18), 5445-5459.
    DOI Scopus20 WoS5 Europe PMC3
    2023 Yao, B., Zhao, J., Ding, S., Giel, M. C., Zhang, G., Ding, D., . . . Hong, Y. (2023). A novel red-emitting aggregation-induced emission probe for determination of β-glucosidase activity. Biomaterials, 295, 122046-1-122046-11.
    DOI Scopus12 Europe PMC1
    2023 Wang, Y., Joseph, S., Wang, X., Weng, Z. H., Mitchell, D. R. G., Nancarrow, M., . . . Shang, J. (2023). Inducing Inorganic Carbon Accrual in Subsoil through Biochar Application on Calcareous Topsoil. Environmental Science and Technology, 57(4), 1837-1847.
    DOI Scopus23 WoS4
    2022 Weng, Z., Lehmann, J., Van Zwieten, L., Joseph, S., Archanjo, B. S., Cowie, B., . . . Kopittke, P. M. (2022). Probing the nature of soil organic matter. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 52(22), 4072-4093.
    DOI Scopus39 WoS25
    2022 Weng, Z., Li, G., Sale, P., & Tang, C. (2022). Application of calcium nitrate with phosphorus promotes rhizosphere alkalization in acid subsoil. European Journal of Soil Science, 73(1), 13 pages.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS1
    2022 Hou, L., Gao, W., van der Bom, F., Weng, Z., Doolette, C. L., Maksimenko, A., . . . Kopittke, P. M. (2022). Use of X-ray tomography for examining root architecture in soils. Geoderma, 405, 115405.
    DOI Scopus26
    2022 Fang, Y., Van Zwieten, L., Rose, M. T., Vasileiadis, S., Donner, E., Vancov, T., . . . Tavakkoli, E. (2022). Unraveling microbiomes and functions associated with strategic tillage, stubble, and fertilizer management. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 323, 1-14.
    DOI Scopus11 WoS4
    2022 Fang, Y., Tavakkoli, E., Weng, Z., Collins, D., Harvey, D., Karimian, N., . . . Van Zwieten, L. (2022). Disentangling carbon stabilization in a Calcisol subsoil amended with iron oxyhydroxides: A dual-<sup>13</sup>C isotope approach. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 170, 1-13.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS2
    2022 Weng, Z. H., Van Zwieten, L., Tavakkoli, E., Rose, M. T., Singh, B. P., Joseph, S., . . . Cowie, A. (2022). Microspectroscopic visualization of how biochar lifts the soil organic carbon ceiling.. Nat Commun, 13(1), 12 pages.
    DOI Scopus38 WoS12 Europe PMC3
    2021 Doolette, C. L., Howard, D. L., Afshar, N., Kewish, C. M., Paterson, D. J., Huang, J., . . . Lombi, E. (2021). Tandem Probe Analysis Mode for Synchrotron XFM: Doubling Throughput Capacity. Analytical Chemistry, 94(11), 4584-4593.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS1 Europe PMC3
    2021 Weng, Z., Butterly, C. R., Sale, P., Li, G., & Tang, C. (2021). Combined nitrate and phosphorus application promotes rhizosphere alkalization and nitrogen uptake by wheat but not canola in acid subsoils. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 21(9), 2995-3006.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS1
    2021 Lauricella, D., Weng, Z., Clark, G. J., Butterly, C. R., Li, G., Gazey, C., . . . Tang, C. (2021). Biochars and their feedstocks differ in their short-term effects in ameliorating acid soils grown with aluminium-sensitive wheat. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 21(8), 2805-2816.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS5
    2021 Joseph, S., Cowie, A. L., Van Zwieten, L., Bolan, N., Budai, A., Buss, W., . . . Lehmann, J. (2021). How biochar works, and when it doesn't: A review of mechanisms controlling soil and plant responses to biochar. GCB Bioenergy, 13(11), 1731-1764.
    DOI Scopus344 WoS184
    2021 Lauricella, D., Butterly, C. R., Weng, Z., Clark, G. J., Sale, P. W. G., Li, G., & Tang, C. (2021). Impact of novel materials on alkalinity movement down acid soil profiles when combined with lime. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 21(1), 52-62.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS8
    2020 Weng, Z., Liu, X., Eldridge, S., Wang, H., Rose, T., Rose, M., . . . Van Zwieten, L. (2020). Priming of soil organic carbon induced by sugarcane residues and its biochar control the source of nitrogen for plant uptake: A dual <sup>13</sup>C and <sup>15</sup>N isotope three-source-partitioning study. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 146, 1-9.
    DOI Scopus32 WoS21
    2019 Weng, Z., Rose, M. T., Tavakkoli, E., Van Zwieten, L., Styles, G., Bennett, W., & Lombi, E. (2019). Assessing plant-available glyphosate in contrasting soils by diffusive gradient in thin-films technique (DGT). Science of the Total Environment, 646, 735-744.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS10
    2019 Rose, T. J., Schefe, C., Weng, Z., Rose, M. T., van Zwieten, L., Liu, L., & Rose, A. L. (2019). Phosphorus speciation and bioavailability in diverse biochars. Plant and Soil, 443(1-2), 233-244.
    DOI Scopus24 WoS22
    2019 Claassens, A., Rose, M. T., Van Zwieten, L., Weng, Z., & Rose, T. J. (2019). Soilborne glyphosate residue thresholds for wheat seedling metabolite profiles and fungal root endophyte colonisation are lower than for biomass production in a sandy soil. Plant and Soil, 438(1-2), 393-404.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2
    2018 Ding, F., Van Zwieten, L., Zhang, W., Weng, Z., Shi, S., Wang, J., & Meng, J. (2018). A meta-analysis and critical evaluation of influencing factors on soil carbon priming following biochar amendment. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 18(4), 1507-1517.
    DOI Scopus79 WoS54
    2018 Rose, M. T., Ng, E. L., Weng, Z., Wood, R., Rose, T. J., & Van Zwieten, L. (2018). Minor effects of herbicides on microbial activity in agricultural soils are detected by N-transformation but not enzyme activity assays. European Journal of Soil Biology, 87, 72-79.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS12
    2018 Weng, Z., Van Zwieten, L., Singh, B. P., Tavakkoli, E., Kimber, S., Morris, S., . . . Cowie, A. (2018). The accumulation of rhizodeposits in organo-mineral fractions promoted biochar-induced negative priming of native soil organic carbon in Ferralsol. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 118, 91-96.
    DOI Scopus25 WoS17
    2018 Nguyen, T. T. N., Wallace, H. M., Xu, C. Y., (Van) Zwieten, L., Weng, Z. H., Xu, Z., . . . Bai, S. H. (2018). The effects of short term, long term and reapplication of biochar on soil bacteria. Science of the Total Environment, 636, 142-151.
    DOI Scopus111 WoS94 Europe PMC13
    2017 Han Weng, Z., Van Zwieten, L., Singh, B., Tavakkoli, E., Joseph, S., Macdonald, L., . . . Cowie, A. (2017). Biochar built soil carbon over a decade by stabilizing rhizodeposits. Nature Climate Change, 7(5), 371-376.
    DOI Scopus253 WoS190
    2017 Archanjo, B. S., Mendoza, M. E., Albu, M., Mitchell, D. R. G., Hagemann, N., Mayrhofer, C., . . . Joseph, S. (2017). Nanoscale analyses of the surface structure and composition of biochars extracted from field trials or after co-composting using advanced analytical electron microscopy. Geoderma, 294, 70-79.
    DOI Scopus91 WoS75
    2015 Weng, Z. H., Van Zwieten, L., Singh, B. P., Kimber, S., Morris, S., Cowie, A., & Macdonald, L. M. (2015). Plant-biochar interactions drive the negative priming of soil organic carbon in an annual ryegrass field system. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 90, 111-121.
    DOI Scopus82 WoS68
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2024 Cowie, A., Azzi, E., Weng, Z. H., & Woolf, D. (2024). Biochar, greenhouse gas accounting, and climate change mitigation. In Biochar for Environmental Management (pp. 759-784). Routledge.
  • 2023-2024, Chief Investigator, GRDC, "Variation of Synchrotron Postdoctoral Fellow No. 3: Soil Organic Matter Fractionation Using Intact Soil Cores (UOQ1910-003RTX)", $100,000.
  • 2022-2023, Chief Investigator, Universities Australia, Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme, Technical University of Munich, "Resolving the effect of land use change on soil organic matter: How microscale processes contribute to improving soil health and mitigating climate change", $23,000.
  • 2022-2023, Chief Investigator, International Synchrotron Access Program (ANSTO), Access to Swiss Light Source, '“Molecular mechanisms of building soil carbon from the oldest, continuous, scientific experiments in the world, Rothamsted Research”', $3,500
  • Since 2020, Chief Investigator, Australian Synchrotron (ANSTO), in-kind beamtime, $1,000,000
  • Since 2020, Partner Investigator, Australian Synchrotron (ANSTO), in-kind beamtime, $1,100,000
  • 2020-2021, Chief Investigator, Australian Synchrotron Access Scheme (ANSTO), $15,190 over 100-d beamtime.

Han coordinates the third year elective Soil and Water: Management and Conservation III and lectures the majority of this course. During this course, together we will learn the fundamentals and more importantly how to better manage and protect the two vital natural capitals as a source of life and survival: Soil and Water. Han also lectures the second year course on Soil and Water Resources II.

  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 0883137232
  • Email: han.weng@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: Waite
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Connect With Me
External Profiles