Matthew Denton

Associate Professor Matthew Denton

Associate Professor

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Feeding the world with declining resources
It is expected that 9 billion people will inhabit the earth by 2050. How can agricultural research assist in providing sufficient food, sustainably?

With declining resources, new ideas are required to produce food more efficiently and cost effectively than ever before. In my research team, we apply agronomic, physiological and microbiological solutions, in Australia and overseas, with an aim to increase global food production. We focus on 3 components - plants, soils and cropping system interactions.

Plants - legumes provide nitrogen benefits through the effective use of inoculants and the process of atmospheric nitrogen fixation
Soil biology - healthy soils are important for the provision of nutrients. New tools enable the entire communities of organisms in soils to be investigated.
Cropping systems - effective cropping system function is important for productive farming systems. Our focus is broad acre systems with minimal tillage, crop-livestock interactions in small holder systems, and protected horticulture.

Matt's group studies agronomic, physiological, and microbiological processes to improve farming systems both in Australia and in developing countries. A strong focus is on the supply and use of nitrogen in farming systems, nitrogen fixation in legumes, conservation agriculture and the improvement of crop / livestock integration. Current projects include:

PhD projects

Project opportunity on chickpea

PhD Scholarships


University scholarships for Australian students are known as Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA). These scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and in designated areas of research strength within the University. If a student does not secure an APA, then the School of Physical Sciences considers the option of divisional scholarships (based on academic merit and budget limits). The University also offers a range of Scholarships for international students.

Application involves filling in the "application form for admission/scholarship".

When applying for domestic scholarships please remember to tick both the APA and Divisional box.  After the closing date, the Graduate Centre will forward your application to the School to consider. If an APA is not awarded then the school will consider offering a divisional scholarship.  Further details can be found at the scholarship websites


International scholarships at the University of Adelaide are very competitive. Prospective PhD students who are highly motivated and have recognised English language skills (, previous research experience and publications in internationally refereed journals should contact me to ensure that there are overlapping interests and availability for supervision. Further information on international PhD scholarships can be found at:

Postdoctoral Positions

For general postdoctoral scholarship applications see: Australian Research Council (ARC) 

China -

Germany -


EU residents -

Japan -






Chief Investigators




Rhizobiology training workshop in Yezin, Myanmar

Denton, Gemell, Hartley




Training extension agents and researchers in evaluation of agricultural innovations in Laos and Cambodia

Denton, Monjardino, Kuehne, Philp




Legumes for Sustainable Agriculture

Kaiser, Trethowan, Mathesius, Colmer, Day, Denton, Adams, Barbour, Smith, Merchant, Bramley, Deaker, Young, Sutton, Bird, Ogbonnaya

2016 - 2021



Management Practices for Profitable Crop-Livestock Systems in Cambodia and Lao PDR

Denton, Bell, Phimphachanhvongsod, Sengxua, Sihathep, Vang, Seng

2016 - 2020



Managing legume and fertiliser nitrogen for the southern region

Denton, Unkovich, Herridge, Long, Zhou, McDonald, McNeill

2016 - 2018



Sustainable management practices for profitable crop livestock systems for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR

Denton, Bell




Increasing productivity of legume-based farming systems in the Central Dry Zone of Myanmar

Herridge, Denton, Gaur, Guppy, Birchall, Oo, Yi, Myint

2011 - 2018



Nitrogen fixation efficiency in the Medicago truncatula – Sinorhizobium symbiosis


2013 - 2014



Development of conservation cropping systems in the drylands of northern Iraq

Loss, Siddique, Denton, Saliem, Rijabo, AlTak, Jasm

2013 - 2015



Extension of the Nitrogen Fixation Program

Denton, Ballard

2012 - 2017



Optimising Nitrogen Fixation in Pulse Systems

Ballard, Denton

2012 - 2017




I teach into courses within the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine and the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences. I am a passionate teacher and aim to provide students with a solid basis in agricultural sciences. I hold a graduate certificate in Education (Higher Education).  

Some of the courses that I teach into are:

Agricultural Systems 1A: lecturing and tutorials

Agricultural Systems 1B: coordinating and lecturing, tutorials and practicals.

Crop and Pasture Production: lecturing and practicals.

Livestock Production Science: lecturing and practicals.

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Principal Supervisor Nutrient Dynamics in Intercropping Systems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Alyce Hayes Dowling
    2019 Principal Supervisor Effect of Acetolactate Synthase Inhibiting Herbicide Residues on Soil Microbial Communities Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Bernard Brian Dzoma
    2018 Principal Supervisor Nitrogen Fixation in Lentil (Lens culinaris) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Zeshan Asgher
    2018 Principal Supervisor Engaging youth in agricultural entrepreneurship in Laos Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Manithaythip Thephavanh
    2017 Principal Supervisor Physiological and Genetic Characterization of Chickpea Rhizobia Isolated from Australian and Myanmar Soils Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Myint Zaw
    2017 Principal Supervisor Enhancing the Beneficial Effect of Rhizosphere Microorganisms on the Chickpea-Mesorhizobium Symbiosis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time APrf Anteneh Argaw Alemneh
    2017 Principal Supervisor The Adaptation of Tropical Perennial Grasses to Drought and Waterlogging in Sandy Soils Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Chanthy Huot
    2017 Co-Supervisor Farmer's Motivation and Biophysical Impact of Active Agroforestry Using Cordia Africana and Albizia Coriaria on Coffee-Bean Intercrops in Mt. Elgon Region Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Joel Buyinza
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2014 - 2016 Principal Supervisor The Influence of Temperature on Emissions of Nitrous Oxide and Dinitrogen from Soils Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Thang Viet Lai
    2014 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Mechanisms contributing to wheat and maize yield under no-till, stubble retention and nitrogen fertilization in contrasting environments Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Onesmus Musembi Kitonyo
    2013 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Investigating the potential for bradyrhizobia and phosphate solubilising microorganisms to improve soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) production in acid soils in Ethiopia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Daniel Muleta Fana
  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2017 - ongoing Board Member Management Committee of the AW Howard Memorial Trust AW Howard Memorial Trust Incorporated Australia
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2012 - ongoing Member Postgraduate Committee The University of Adelaide Australia
    2012 - ongoing Member Health, Safety and wellbeing The University of Adelaide Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2007 - ongoing Member American Society of Agronomy United States
    2007 - ongoing Member Soil Science Society of America United States
    1996 - ongoing Chair Australian Society for Nitrogen Fixation Australia
    1996 - ongoing Member Australian Society of Agronomy Australia
  • Consulting/Advisories

    Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
    2016 - ongoing Steering Committee Chair, ACIAR forage options project Scientific research Australia
    2015 - ongoing ARC Legumes for Sustainable Agriculture Advisory panel Scientific research Australia
    2011 - 2014 ICARDA advisory board for ACIAR Conservation Agriculture project Scientific research Jordan
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2017 - ongoing Associate Editor Crop and Pasture Science Australia
    2017 - ongoing Consulting Editor Plant and Soil Netherlands
  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 83131098
  • Email:
  • Fax: 8313 7109
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Waite, floor G
  • Room: GN 09a
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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