Dr Kirkegaard is a Senior Principal Research Scientist and the Group Leader of Innovations for Sustainable Farming at CSIRO Plant Industry.
He is also Stream Leader of the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship.
Dr Kirkegaard's current research projects are aimed at improving the productivity and sustainability of farming systems. These include:
- factors limiting canola productivity in southern Australia
- improving whole-farm water-use efficiency including improved subsoil water use by crops
- evaluating biofumigation potential of Brassica cover crops
- harnessing soil biology for improved crop performance.
Dr Kirkegaard joined CSIRO as an agronomist in 1990 to improve the productivity and sustainability of dry-land mixed farming systems in southeast Australia.
Key research has included understanding the rotational benefits of Brassica (a genus of plants in the mustard family) crops including biofumigation and biological drilling and improving crop performance under conservation cropping systems involving direct drilling and stubble retention.
Recent research has focused on:
- the way in which soil biology can be harnessed for improved crop production
- investigations of improving the subsoil water use by crops on a range of soils
- investigations of factors associated with poor performance of canola in southern Australia.