James Latimer is currently completing a PhD on nitrogen dynamics in irrigated agriculture at The Fenner School of Environment and Society and CSIRO. This research is funded by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation and explores the fate of nitrogen in cotton irrigation systems. The work comprises soil, water, atmospheric and biological chemistry, and aims to better characterise the interaction and partitioning of nitrogen through these pools. James’ research is undertaken at fieldwork sites in the Riverina and Namoi regions of NSW. The project also relies heavily on laboratory experimentation, performed at CSIRO Black Mountain.
This project fits more broadly into James’ passion for understanding how Earth systems – often regarded in isolation – interact and influence each other. Previous work in the fields of urban development, sustainable construction, mine site and contaminated land remediation, environmental conservation, and industrial engineering have developed to a strong desire to understand how human development can effectively coexist with environmental conservation.
Prior to undertaking his PhD at ANU, James studied at Monash University where he completed a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering, achieving first class honours in both. Through these degrees he attained a solid grounding in geology, water chemistry, engineering practice, groundwater dynamics, and atmospheric processes. Building on this with the soil science and agricultural practices content central to his PhD, James is steadily constructing a comprehensive Earth science knowledge base from which to tackle future problems. James’ ultimate goal is to learn as much as possible about the entire Earth system, with a view to understanding how humanity can meet its future needs while existing sustainably within it.