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Dr Patrick O'Connor

Position Associate Professor
Building Nexus 10 Tower
Floor/Room 5
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit Ctr Global Food & Resources

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Biography/ Background

Patrick O'Connor has a background in research and consulting in natural resource management science and program evaluation. Patrick is also Managing Director of the consulting company O’Connor NRM and holds a Chinese Academy of Sciences President's Fellowship at the Institute of Urban Environments, Xiamen, China. Patrick’s consulting and research work focusses on the design, creation, implementation and evaluation of markets for ecosystem services. Patrick works on projects aimed at overcoming negative environmental externalities from agricultural production systems and has created markets for the conservation of soil and biodiversity and for carbon sequestration. Patrick undertakes research on the design of novel contracts for land management, and toward understanding of price-setting behaviors of landholders supplying ecosystem services. Patrick also works in program evaluation, designing and implementing evaluations to improve program decisions or demonstrate policy and program impact. 


Patrick has an additional interest in the application of applied linguistics to scientific writing and is co-author of the successful book 'Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps' which sets out a genre-based approach to training scientists to write research papers.

Awards & Achievements

Chinese Academy of Sciences President's Fellowship (2016)

Premier's Natural Resource Management Award - 'Big Picture' (Finalist - 2013)

South Australian Spatial Excellence Award – BushBids Biodiversity Auction (Winner - 2007)

South Australian Landcare Award - BushBids Biodiversity Auction (Finalist - 2007)

Research Interests

Ecosystem service markets including biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, soil management and pollination

Monitoring and evaluation of agro-ecosystem services focussing on ecosystem health and biodiversity

Evaluation of natural resource management policy and program impact


Plant-Soil Ecology

Chen M.M., H.B.Yin, P.J. O’Connor, Y.S. Wang and Y.G. Zhu (2010) C:N:P stoichiometry and specific growth rate of clover colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Plant and Soil 326; 21-29 doi 10.1007/s11104-009-9982-4

O’Connor P.J., M. Manjarrez and S.E. Smith (2009). The fate and efficacy of benomyl applied to field soils to suppress activity of AM fungi. Canadian Journal of Microbiology

Li, X-R., H-Y Zhou, X-P Wang, Y-G Zhu and P J O'Conner (2003) The effects of sand stabilization and revegetation on cryptogram species diversity and soil fertility in the Tengger Desert, Northern China. Plant and Soil 251, 237-245

Antoniolli, Z.I., E. Facelli, P.J. O'Connor, D. Miller, K. Ophel-Keller and S.E. Smith (2003). Spore communities of arbuscular mycorrhzal fungi and mycorrhizal associations in different ecosystems, South Australia. Brazilian Review of Soil Science 26, 627-635

O'Connor, P.J., S.E. Smith, F.A. Smith (2002). Arbuscular mycorrhizas influence plant competition, diversity and community structure in a semi-arid herbland. New Phytologist 154, 209-218

O'Connor, P.J., S.E. Smith, F.A. Smith (2001). Arbuscular mycorrhizal associations in the southern Simpson Desert. Australian Journal of Botany 49, 1-8

Smith, H.F., P.J. O'Connor, S.E. Smith, F.A. Smith (1998). Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizas of durian and other plants of forest gardens in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. In Soils of Tropical Forest Ecosystems. A. Shulte & D. Ruhiyat (Eds.). Springer, Berlin.

Barker, S.J., S. Stummer, G. Gao, I. Dispain, P.J. O'Connor, S.E. Smith (1998). A mutant in Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. With highly reduced VA mycorrhizal colonization: isolation and preliminary characterisation. The Plant Journal 15 (6), 791-797


Ecological Monitoring & Assessment

Field, S. A., P.J. O'Connor, A.J. Tyre, and H.P. Possingham (2007) Making monitoring meaningful. Austral Ecology 32, 485-491

O'Connor, P.J. and A.J. Bond (2007) Maximising the effectiveness of photopoint monitoring for ecological management and restoration. Ecological Management and Restoration 8, 228-233

O'Connor, P.J., J. Tesoriero, A. Morgan, S. Bolt (2006) Guidelines for the Planning, Design & Implementation of Natural Resource Management Trials. South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board ISPN:O-646-45677-6

Field, S.A. , A.J. Tyre, K.H. Thorn, P.J. O'Connor and H.P. Possingham (2005) Improving the efficiency of wildlife monitoring by estimating detectability: a case study of foxes (Vulpes vulpes) on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. Wildlife Research 32, 253-258

O'Connor, P.J., (2001). The importance of biodiversity in the South East landscape. In Exploring the Anatomy of a Region. Kanawinka Publishers 


Scientific Writing & Publishing

Cargill M, P.J. O’Connor and R Matthews (2014) Publication skills development in the sciences: decision support for effective program design. Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 69, 101-114

Cargill M. and P.J. O’Connor (2013) Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps. 2nd Edition, Wiley Blackwell Publishers -

Cargill M, PJ O’Connor and Y-Y Li (2012) Educating Chinese scientists to write for international journals: addressing the divide between science and technology education and English language teaching. English for Specific Purposes 31; 60-69 doi10.1016/j.esp.2011.05.003

Cargill M and PJ O’Connor (2012) Identifying and addressing challenges to international publication success for science researchers in China: An integrated training package. In Academic writing in a second or foreign language: Issues and challenges facing ESL / EFL academic writers in higher education contexts. Ed. R. Tang. Continuum.

Cargill M. and P.J. O’Connor (2010) Structuring interdisciplinary collaboration to develop research students’ skills for publishing research internationally: Lessons from implementation. In Interdisciplinary Higher Education: Perspectives and Practicalities. Ed. Martin Davies, Marcia Devlin, Malcolm Tight (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Volume 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Zhu Y-G., P O'Connor and J-H Cao (2007) Where do Chinese scientists publish their research in environmental science and technology? Environmental Pollution 147, 1-3

Cargill, M. and P.J. O'Connor (2006) Getting research published in English: towards a curriculum design model for developing skills and enhancing outcomes Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 53, 79-94

Cargill, M. and P.J. O'Connor (2006). Developing Chinese scientists' skills for publishing in English: Evaluating collaborating-colleague workshops based on genre analysis. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 5, 207-221

Professional Interests

Director of O'Connor NRM Pty Ltd an environmental consultancy specialising in environmental decision making,

Hayati Journal of Biosciences - Editorial Board Member

Acta Ecologica Sinica - Editorial Board Member

Ecological Society of Australia - Member

Australasian Evaluation Society  - Member


·        BushBids - Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges

·         BushBids - Woodland

·         BushBids - RiverBend

·         BushBids - Southern Mallee

·         BushBids - South Eastern

·         Environmental Stewardship - Multiple Ecological Communities - Peppermint Box Woodland and Irongrass Natural Temperate Grassland

·         Sheoak Grassy Woodland Auction

·         Kielpa-to-Coast Soil Conservation Auction

·         Yalanda-to-Coast Soil Conservation Auction

·         River Murray Forest

Entry last updated: Saturday, 18 Jun 2016

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