Dr Jim Cox

Adjunct Professor of Hydrology
Dr Jim Cox
  Org Unit Ecology and Environmental Science
  Email james.cox@adelaide.edu.au
  Telephone +61 8 8313 9334
  Mobile +61 4 0766 1997
  Location Floor/Room 1 ,  Plant Research Centre ,   Waite

I am Principal Scientist with the South Australian Research and Development Institute with adjunct status of Professor of Hydrology in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences. My interests span three key research areas related to hydrology:

·         Vadose zone water balances and water quality,

·         Soil physical and chemical properties that affect water and solute transport, and

·         Drainage theory.

I have been successful in forging links with industry and government bodies, internationally, nationally and in South Australia, and have obtained industry funding for basic and applied research from a variety of agencies.

I have been a member on several boards and committees that play a key role in decision-making about water-related research and policy. I am presently a member of the Goyder Water Institute’s Research and Advisory Board, National Program for Sustainable Irrigation’s Program Management Committee, as well as several industry research steering committees.

I have played a role in the training of graduate students in Australia and Europe, supervising 12 Honours students to completion, in areas ranging from soil properties associated with waterlogging, to modelling the water balance of duplex soils. Nine of these students received 1st class Honours, and a number have gone on to do a PhD. I am currently involved in the supervision of 4 PhD students, and have had 3 PhD students successfully complete their degrees from two Australian universities. The research projects have varied from the mobilisation of phosphorus in surface runoff in the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia to salinity risk in the Corangamite region of Victoria.


Employment History

·         Principle Scientist, South Australian Research and Development Institute and Adjunct Prof University of Adelaide (current)

·         Professor of Hydrology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide (Feb 2011-Sept 2013)

·         Principal Scientist and Leader of Water Resources and Irrigated Crops Research in the South Australian Research and Development Institute (Sep 2008-Feb 2011)

·         Senior Principal Scientist, CSIRO Land and Water (Jul 1998-Sep 2008)

·         Research Scientist and Leader of Hydropedology Research, CRC Soil and Land Management  (Jan 1993-Jul 1998)

·         Senior Environmental Scientist, Rockwater Pty Ltd, Perth, Western Australia. (Oct 1991-Jan 1993)

·         Senior Research Officer, Water Authority of Western Australia, WA (Jan 1998-Oct 1991)

·         PhD student, University of Western Australia (Jan 1984–Dec 1987)

·         1982 - BSc (The Flinders University of South Australia)

·         1983 - BSc (Hons) (The Flinders University of South Australia)

·         1988 - PhD (The University of Western Australia) – Seepage interceptor drainage of duplex soils in south-western Australia


·         2006 Awarded the University of Helsinki (Finland) Medal for contribution to science and teaching in Europe;

·         2003 Recipient of an Overseas Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Research Fellowship;

·         1996 Recipient of the AW Howard Memorial Trust Award.

Current PhD Students

·         Nigel Fleming - Effect of farm dams on water quality in the Mount Lofty Ranges

Current Undergraduate Courses

·         Currently not teaching


·         Crop and catchment hydrology/water balance;

·         Importance of the development of perched watertables and preferential flow in texture-contrast (agricultural) soils;

·         Nutrient mobility in texture-contrast soils; and

·         Drainage of the shallow saturated zone to reduce waterlogging of lucerne and cereal crops.

·         Phogat V, Mahadevan M, Skewes M and Cox JW. 2011. Modelling soil water and salt dynamics under pulsed and continuous surface drip irrigation of almond and implications of system design. Irrigation Science (accepted Dec 2010).

·         Phogat, V., Yadav, A.K., Malik, R.S., Kumar, S. and Cox, J. 2010. Simulation of salt and water movement and estimation of water productivity of rice crop irrigated with saline water. Paddy and Water Environment 8:336-346.

·         Dahlhaus, P.G., Evans, T.J., Nathan, E., Cox, J.W., and Simmons, C.T. 2010. Groundwater-level response to land-use change and the implications for salinity management in the West Moorabool River catchment, Victoria, Australia. Hydrogeology Journal 18:1611–1623.

·         Varcoe, J., van Leeuwen, J.A., Chittleborough, D.J., Cox, J.W., Smernik, R.J. and Heitz, A. 2010. Changes in water quality following gypsum application to catchment soils of the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia. Organic Geochemistry 41:116-123.

·         Dahlhaus, P.G., Cox, J.W., Smitt, C.M. and Simmons, C.T. 2008. Historical evidence of salinity in the Corangamite region, Australia, and the implications for current salinity management. Hydrogeology 16: 1283-1298.

·         Dougherty, W., Nash, D., Cox, J.W., Chittleborough, D.J., and Fleming, N. 2008. Small–scale, high–intensity rainfall simulation under-estimates natural runoff P concentrations from pastures on hill-slopes. Australian Journal of Soil Research 46: 694–702.

·         Davies, P., Cox, J.W., Fleming, N., Dougherty, W., Nash, D., Hutson. J. 2006. Predicting runoff and phosphorus loads from variable source areas: Application of a terrain based modelling approach. Journal of Spatial Hydrology 6: 82-104.

·         Poulsen, D.L., Simmons, C.T., Le Galle La Salle, C. and Cox, J.W. 2006. Assessing catchment-scale spatial and temporal patters of groundwater and stream salinity. Hydrogeology 41: 1339-1359.

·         Dougherty, W.J. Nash, D., Chittleborough, D.J., Cox, J.W., and Fleming, N.K. 2006. Stratification, forms and mobility of P as a function of P status in the topsoil of a Chromosol used for dairying Australian Journal of Soil Research 44: 277-284.

·         Cox, J.W., Varcoe, J., Chittleborough, D.J. and van Leeuwen, J. 2005 Using gypsum to reduce phosphorus in runoff from sub-catchments in South Australia. Journal of Environmental Quality 34: 2118-2128.

·         Cox, J.W, Pitman, A., and Bellotti, W.D 2005. The role of shallow drains in removing “excess” water from texture-contrast soils. Australian Journal of Water Resources 9: 109-118.

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Entry last updated: Thursday, 5 Feb 2015

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