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Peter Weir

Peter Weir

PhD Candidate

School of Engineering, IT and Physical Sciences

Supervisors: Assoc Prof Peter Dahlhaus, Dr Nathan Robinson, and 
Assoc Prof Peter Vamplew 

Peter commenced his PhD at CeRDI in February 2020. The aim of his research is to develop a conceptual model, using existing spatio-temporal data as the basis for predictions of within-paddock variability in plant-available water (PAW), which will consider local constraints, and uncertainty in the data. Assuming a credible and robust fine-scale PAW model can be achieved, the variation in annual yields against the variations in seasonal PAW could be correlated to elicit information about the paddocks and soils that can feed into predictive models. Predictions will be based on a range of publicly available data sets including satellite imagery, landscape metrics, soil moisture measurements, digital soil data, and meteorological data. Multi-variate statistical analysis and machine learning techniques will be used to develop the prediction algorithms.

After many years in irrigated horticulture in the Riverland, South Australia, both as a farmer and a software developer, Peter returned to fulltime study in 2008 at the University of South Australia, Adelaide, obtaining an Information Technology degree with Honours (2012). His Honours thesis was titled "Evaluation of Psychophysical Effects in High Quality Augmented Reality Environments". At that time, his research interest was the objective measurement of the perceptual experiences of individuals using Augmented Reality systems, studying how our brains process multimodal sensory stimulation as we experience the world around us.

Peter moved to Ballarat in 2016 and has now commenced PhD studies at CeRDI. His previous interests in soils and soil moisture management and as a co-inventor/developer of the EnviroScan soil moisture monitoring systems, provide a strong background for the research work he will be undertaking.

Peter is enrolled with the School of Science Engineering and Information Technology with Associate Professor Peter Dahlhaus in the role of principal supervisor, and Dr Nathan Robinson and Associate Professor Peter Vamplew as associate supervisors.

Peter Weir is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Fee-Offset Scholarship through Federation University Australia and by the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils whose activities are funded by the Australian Government's Cooperative Research Centre Program.


In-Paddock Variability of Plant Available Water
In-Paddock Variability of Plant Available Water

With the adoption of Precision Agriculture (PA) and implementation of site-specific crop management (SSCM) by farmers, there is a better understanding of both spatial and temporal variabilities in cropping fields and to a lesser extent, pastures.

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