Professor Nanthi Bolan

University of Newcastle (Professor)

Professor Nanthi Bolan (PhD) is leading Environmental Science Research and Policy Implementation at the University of Newcastle, and is a leader of the national Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for High Performance Soil (SOIL CRC) Programme on Innovative Products. He has previously served as the Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of South Australia.

Nanthi is a Fellow of American Soil Science Society, American Society of Agronomy and New Zealand Soil Science Society, and is the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Sciences Communicator of the Year, pivotal for the translation of effective soil science research into general policy discussions. He holds an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project in carbon conundrum. Nanthi and his staff will bring to ACRE expertise in soil composition and alkaloid (such as cannabinoid) science to guide knowledge on ideal growing conditions.

Nanthi has published more than 300 refereed journal papers with a total citation exceeding 18000 (with an H index of 68). He has extensive research and policy experience in environmental contaminants in relation to soil and plant health. He will play a significant role in the research components relating to cannabis production and cannabinoids quality as impacted by nutrients and soil contaminants. Nutrients (e.g. nitrogen) and contaminants (e.g. pesticides and heavy metals) influence both cannabinoid yield and quality; they also affect toxicity profiles of use in humans. Furthermore, cannabis is known to accumulate heavy metals such as mercury. Since cannabis is typically smoked, it becomes a problem if there are trace levels of mercury and lead in what is being consumed. The long-term exposure to mercury and lead can lead to neurological problems such as memory loss, drowsiness, and depression. Nanthi has been active in the research supervision of > 50 PhD students and around 10 early career scientists, and will provide the necessary research training for the early carrier researchers (ECR) and PhD students within the Plant Science cluster of ACRE.