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Associate Professor Surya Bhattarai

BAgrSc (1990) TU Nepal; MScAg (1995) Uni Essex UK; PhD (2005), CQUniversity, Australia
Associate Professor
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Institute for Future Farming Systems
(07) 4923 2140
0422 800 518 Mobile Phone
Rockhampton North
Building 361, CQIRP, CQUniversity - Room G.38
Ibis Avenue, Rockhampton, QLD 4702, Australia
About Me

Dr Surya Bhattarai, a senior research fellow, in CQU Institute for Future Farming System (IFFS), brings in his position a strong farming, agri- business, research and teaching background. Surya took up CQU research/academic position since 2006 after completing his PhD in 2005 from CQUniversity Australia. His position and program are largely funded through industry collaboration and engaged research with primary industries both in Australia and overseas. He brings valuable experience of participatory research and development. Surya is an experienced crop physiologist with extensive experience on crop abiotic stresses particularly for broad- acre cropping and horticultural crops. His research focus on tropical high value crops for improving crop water productivity through integration of crop drought tolerance (smart genetics), smart irrigation, smart soil and fertilizer techniques. His research engagement for Australian northern cropping brings number of industry funded collaborative projects (e.g. rainfed rice, spices crops, food grade legumes) in the northern Australian landscapes. Surya’s interests on interdisciplinary (e.g. bio-engineering) and multidisciplinary research (crop water management, soil fertility, soil health, environmental agriculture, health crops), brings research projects and researchers together in the team from within and outside the CQUniversity, for projects focused on developing solutions for complex problems. Rainfed rice, high value spices and condiments, drought tolerant tropical food legumes, hydrogen peroxide and aeration of irrigation for cropping, smart compost for cropping futures and health crops are some of the examples of applied and multidisciplinary research developing industry oriented outcomes. Surya in the team is continuously building postgraduate cohorts in these thematic areas, supported by improved collaboration, stakeholders’ engagement and industry participation in R&D consistent to vision and mission of CQU Institute for Future Farming Systems.


Surya has previous experiences on agriculture research, extension, teaching, and agri-business development. His work in different continents and culture brings significant strenght in his ressearch team. Surya brings wealth of practical, academic and industry experience in teaching and research in Agriculture. His down to earth approach on sustainable agriculture through inter-disciplinary and multidisciplinary research in agronomy makes real difference in the students learning and impacts to the collaborating industries.

Universities Studied At

Ph.D., Agronomy, 2005: Central Queensland University, Australia. M. Sc., Crop Physiology, 1994: University of Essex, UK. B. Sc., Agriculture, 1990: Tribhuwon University, Nepal.

Universities Worked At

−Kassetsart University in collaboration with Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center, 1992-1993, Crop Stress Physiology Research. Tribhuwon University Nepal, Department of Horticulture, Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research in Horticulture. CQUniversity Australia. 2005-2016, undergraduate teaching and applied agricultural research


·  CQUniversity Australia Vice-Chancellor Award for Excellence in Research-mid career (2012)

·  CQUniversity Aus Opal Award for Excellence in Research Innovation and Engagement (2010)

·  Listed in “Expert Guide “ –list of Australian Agricultural Experts (2005- to date)

·  Fellowship: DEEWR Australia Endeavour Research Fellowship, AVRDC Taiwan (2007-2008)

·  Fellowship: University Postgraduate Research Award for PhD, CQU Australia (2001-2004)

·  Fellowship: British Council fellowship for Masters in Ag Science, Essex UK (1994-1995)

·  Fellowship: DFID  fellowship for Advanced Vegetable R&D from AVRDC, Kasetsart University, Thailand (1992 – 1993)

·  Fellowship: DFID fellowship for undergraduate studies in Agriculture TU Nepal (1987 – 1990)

Media Citations

Editoring openion articles for organic transformation in Nepal 
24 atricles to be publsihed in "The Kathmandu Post" on fortnightly basis on the various issues on organice agriculture for Nepal.

Apperance on TV for diffrent research progarm: 
Dry land rice 

Radio interview:  
4 times on radio interview for oxygation, rice, green chicken, and industrial hemp 

Previous teaching

Plants and Environment (BOTN 10032), undergraduate/postgradaute studies in CQUniveristy as a teachig lecturer, 2005-2013

Professional Experience

Research fellow, 2012 to date-CQUniversity, Post doctoral.senior post doctoral research fellow, CQ univeristy, 2005-2012, Lecturer, 1997-2001, Tribhuwon University, Nepal 1995-1997, team leader, commericial vegetable research Program, Lumel Ag Researhc Centre, Nepal

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS)
  • International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS)
  • American Society of Agronomy (ASA)
  • Nepal Horticulture Society (NHS) 
  • Nepal Society of Agricultural Scientist (NSAS)


Teaching courses of Plants and Environment (BIOL 13002)

Coordinator of Plant Eco-physiology Laboratory

Coordinator for Oxygation research project activities

Supervision/co-supervision of postgraduate students

Supervision of postdoctoral researech fellows 

Coordination of drought tolerance screeing research

Support to postgraduates on statistical analysis of data using GENSTAT

Engaged in interdisciplinary research and developing links between research centres

Active involvement of postgraduate research with industries

Fostering international collaborations in research and postgraduate studies 

Instrumentation support to postgraduate and research

Professional Interests

  • Horticulture
  • Crop stress physiology, environmental physiology, and abiotic stress 
  • Irrigation research and water use efficiency
  • Erosion control and revegetation
  • Sustainble crop production
  • Sustainable soil, water, and natural resource managment

Key Achievements

Market oriented research on hotriculture

Engagment of industry

Oxygation research and development

Coordianted approach and linkage

Interanational colloborations

Computer Software

Genstat 17 for Agriculture Research Data Anslysis

Sigmaplot 12 for Graphical applicaiton 

Industry Reports

Bhattarai S, Midmore, D & Dhungel J 2011, Aeration of irrigation water for improvements in pineapple crop health and yield, research report, Horticulture Australia Ltd., NSW.


Journal Water, Special Issue- Water use efficiency in Agriculture -Guest Editor- 2017-2019

Journal of Agricultural Science, JAS, published from Canada, Member of the Editorial Board- since 2012

Invited reviewers for Journal of Agricultural Water Management, Irrigation Science, Irrigation and Drainage Science

Consultancy Work

Bhattarai, S. P. and Subedi, P. P. (1997). Production and marketing constraints for ginger and potato, in income generation sub-project areas of Kaski and Parbat districts of HMG/JICA: Community Development and Forest/Watershed Conservation Project, Pokhara, Nepal. A rapid marketing and production appraisal. Consultancy report prepared for JICA, Nepal.

Recent Research Projects
No research projects to display.
Research Supervision

I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:

  • 3004 Crop and Pasture Production
  • 3002 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
  • 3008 Horticultural Production

At the level of Principal Supervisor

Current Capacity
I am currently available to supervise more research candidates
No Supervisions to display.
Research Interests
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences

Crop and Pasture Production - Agronomy

Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences

Horticultural Production - Horticultural Crop Growth and Development

Biological Sciences

Plant Biology - Plant Physiology

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