Chloe Lai

Chloe Lai

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Soil and Crop Modelling

The University of Southern Queensland


My research develops practical solutions for spatially explicit, timely, data-driven farm management by modelling the interactions between soil constraints, crop production, and management practices. I specialise in integrating agricultural systems models, machine learning, and geostatistics to understand and connect processes at different scales. I work closely with industry partners to address specific challenges related to soil constraint management.

Technical and Language Proficiency:

R · Python · C# · LaTeX · Markdown · APSIM · ArcGIS · QGIS · ERDAS IMAGINE · ENVI 

Mandarin - Native, English – Proficient (IELTS scores 8.5: Listening 9, Reading 9, Writing 8, Speaking 7)

Member: Soil Science Australia · International Union of Soil Science

Download my CV in pdf

  • Pedometrics
  • Geostatistics
  • Plant-soil-climate-management interactions
  • Soil constraints
  • Agricultural systems modelling
  • PhD in Agricultural Science, 2021

    The University of Queensland

  • Bachelor of Environmental Management, Sustainable Development Major, First Class Honours, 2014

    The University of Queensland

Awards & Recognition

22nd World Congress of Soil Science
Jul 2022 – Jul 2022 Stirling, Scotland
Queensland Branch, Soil Science Australia
Postgraduate Award for Excellence in Soil Science
Apr 2022 – Apr 2022 Brisbane, Queensland
Collaborate Innovate 2021
Finalist of Cooperative Research Australia Early Career Researcher Competition
Oct 2021 – Oct 2021
University of Southern Queensland
Capacity Building Grant
Jul 2021 – Jun 2022 Toowoomba, Queensland
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland
Overall winner of the 2017 3-Minute Thesis
Oct 2017 – Oct 2017 St Lucia and Gatton, Queensland
Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC)
Research Scholarship for Ph.D.
Oct 2015 – Mar 2020 St Lucia, Queensland
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University Of Queensland
Dean’s List
Feb 2011 – Dec 2014 St Lucia, Queensland
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University Of Queensland
Summer School Scholarship
Dec 2012 – Feb 2013 St Lucia, Queensland
Singapore Ministry of Education
Tuition and Stipend Scholarship for Tamasek Academy
Jan 2006 – Dec 2009 Temasek Junior College, Singapore


Academic & Research

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dec 2019 – Present Toowoomba, Queensland

As the project postdoc on the Soil CRC soil constraints modelling project

  • identified key soil constraints priorities that need to be represented in DSS for partner grower groups through targeted workshops
  • improved scientific understanding in key processes in soil-plant relations
  • incorporated the mechanistic and empirical understanding of such processes into DSS with relevant codes and module files developed. This includes:
    • linking lab-measured phosphorus values to conceptual pool of labile phosphorus in APSIM
    • enabling nitrogen volatilisation in APSIM
    • modelling the effects of water repellency on crop yield in sandy soils
    • updating the Gypsy software from a Windows-based program to a web-based tool with major improvements on its functionalities
Tutor, AGR2303 Agronomy
Jan 2022 – Present Toowoomba, Queensland
  • delivery of tutorials targeted on APSIM training
  • monitoring and moderating online discussion forum
  • updating tutorial simulations from APSIM classic to Next Gen
Tutor, AGR3304 Soil Science
Jan 2020 – Present Toowoomba, Queensland
  • delivery of workshops to enhance students’ understanding on lecture topics through facilitated discussions and exercises
  • monitoring and moderating online discussion forum to actively promote indepth thinking and discussion
Casual Academic (Practical Demonstrator)
Feb 2017 – Dec 2019 St Lucia and Gatton, Queensland


  • Assisted in the preparation for experiments and guided students to the successful completion of relevant laboratory and glass house experiments required for course LAND3005 – Soil Plant Relationships
  • As a student ambassador in various events including Open Day, Experience Science, Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology (FEAST), Sunflower competition, and the University Network for Tropical Agriculture (UNTA) meeting:
    • helped to ensure international senior academics an enjoyable visit to UQ
    • provided relevant advice and information to current and prospective students
    • promoted agriculture and soil sciences, and the vibrant university life and culture
Tutor (Agricultural Sciences and Environmental Management)
Feb 2017 – Dec 2019 St Lucia, Queensland


  • Designed program-focused tutorials rather than course-focused tutorials to:
    • provide advices and feedbacks to students on their courses and assessments;
    • challenge and extend their understanding of the fields of study by linking course contents to current discussions and movements in literature and in relevant industries.
  • Adopted an integrated approach to:
    • demonstrate course relevance within the program structure
    • highlight practical skills in professional environment
Research Assistant (Undergraduate)
Aug 2013 – Nov 2013 Toowoomba, Queensland

14-week industrial placement on the impact of different tillage practices on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization and root lesion nematodes in Queensland, Australia

  • actively involved in scientific research and activities such as field day
  • produced quality report, diagrams and charts for the project
  • acquired practical skills including soil and plant sampling, soil science and biological laboratory techniques, data management and analysis using Excel and GenStat