Beth Penrose

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Beth Penrose

Beth Penrose

Lecturer in Pasture Science

Room 308, Life Science, Private Bag 98, Sandy Bay Campus

+61 3 6226 5569 | +61 (0) 418 895382 (phone)

Dr Beth Penrose is a lecturer in pasture science in the School of Land and Food. She is interested in pasture species, particularly ryegrasses. Her work has focused on how to improve plant, livestock and human nutrition through pasture management.

Beth is actively seeking PhD and Masters of Research students, and welcomes applications from potential students interested in plant nutrition, plant physiology, pasture agronomy and agricultural systems. More details and potential projects are listed under the Supervision tab.


Before joining the University of Tasmania, Beth was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nottingham (UK), working on the MAG-NET project, which focuses on improving magnesium, calcium and trace element nutrition in ruminants. Prior to this, she completed her PhD at the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UK), in conjunction with the University of Nottingham (UK), working on reducing the transfer of radionuclides from soil to livestock in the event of nuclear accidents.

Career summary


DegreeThesis TitleUniversityCountryAwarded
PhDCultivar substitution as a remediation strategy in radiocaesium and radiostrontium contaminated areasUniversity of NottinghamUK2016
BSc in Environmental ScienceAn Investigation of the Presence and Uptake of Caesium-137 in Marine Macroalgae of the Severn EstuaryUniversity of the West of EnglandUK2012

Administrative expertise

Beth managed the MAG-NET project, a £1 million project focussing on livestock nutrition.


Teaching expertise

  • Pasture science
  • Plant nutrition
  • Radioecology
  • Agronomy

Beth has taught first, second and final year undergraduates and masters students at the University of Nottingham (UK and Malaysia campuses), in plant science, environmental science and geology.

Teaching responsibility

Beth is responsible for teaching into the Agronomy, Pasture and Animal Science, Crop Protection Units and will be guest lecturing on the Sustainable Resource Management and Food and Fibre Production in a Global Market units.

View more on Dr Beth Penrose in WARP


  • Pasture management
  • Plant nutrition
  • Animal nutrition
  • Remediation of radiologically contaminated land

Research Themes

Beth’s research aligns to the University’s research theme of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Her research interests include how to manage pasture nutrition to optimise the use of resources and help to protect the environment.

Her work on magnesium nutrition in pastures is likely to reduce the amount of animal-based magnesium treatments by providing more nutritious pastures, and integrates GIS data with plant and animal nutrition data to provide farmers with appropriate decision making tools, improving the sustainability of their livestock systems.

Beth’s work on the transfer of radionuclides to humans via livestock systems is allowing decision-making bodies such as national governments and the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) make better plans for pasture environments in the event of a nuclear accident.


Beth is currently involved in the Magnesium Network (MAG-NET) project with the University of Nottingham (UK), British Geological Survey (UK), Aberystwyth University (UK), Yara Fertilisers, Origin Fertilisers, Ruminant Mineral Consultancy, XL Vets and Germinal Holdings.

Fields of Research

  • Crop and Pasture Production (070399)
  • Environmental Rehabilitation (excl. Bioremediation) (050207)
  • Rural Sociology (160804)

Research Objectives

  • Sown Pastures (excl. Lucerne) (830406)
  • Pasture, Browse and Fodder Crops (830499)
  • Learner Development (930103)


Beth's publications have primarily concerned the use of cultivar substitution as a remediation strategy from radiologically contaminated pastures.

Total publications


Journal Article

(1 outputs)
2017Penrose B, Beresford NA, Crout NMJ, Lovatt JA, Thomson R, et al., 'Forage grasses with lower uptake of caesium and strontium could provide safer' crops for radiologically contaminated areas', PLoS One, 12, (5) Article e0176040. ISSN 1932-6203 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176040 [eCite] [Details]


Beth is actively seeking PhD and Masters of Research students, and welcomes applications from potential students interested in plant nutrition, plant physiology, pasture agronomy and agricultural systems.

Below are a few potential projects. Ideas for projects or research questions that align with the above interests are also welcome. There is currently no external funding for these projects. These are subject to students receiving a scholarship from the University of Tasmania or an external source.

Development of management options for alternative dryland pasture legumes

(Co-supervised with Dr Rowan Smith, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture)

This project seeks to investigate the best practices for establishment and management of alternative perennial legumes in mixed swards in low to medium rainfall areas.

It is well known that there is an ideal grass-legume mix in pastures for optimal animal performance, with an ideal legume component composing at least 30 per cent of the total sward. However, recent surveys in Tasmania and across south eastern Australia have indicated that most pastures in these areas have a legume component of significantly less than 30 per cent. The reasons for this are multiple, and include a lack of understanding of the value of a higher legume component, but also a lack of understanding of appropriate management strategies for establishing and maintaining legumes in a mixed sward. This is true for all legume species, and is particularly true for novel alternative perennial legumes for low to medium rainfall areas.

Investigating the nutritive value of Tasmanian native and degraded pastures

(Co-supervised with Dr Rowan Smith, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture)

This project will investigate the seasonal nutritive value and productivity of native and degraded pastures in low to medium rainfall areas. It is expected that these data will then be used to inform and augment farm systems models to enable producers to get the most out of all their pastures.

Native pastures provide the backbone of the feedbase for the wool industry in Tasmania, and are important components of the feedbase for red meat production in some areas. They also contribute significantly to ecosystem services, such as carbon storage, erosion control, water relations and cultural heritage. However, little is known about their nutritive value and productivity overall, and seasonal fluctuations are poorly understood. Degraded pastures, where introduced species have failed to persist, or declined over time are also poorly understood in terms of their value and productivity. In comparison to pastures sown with introduced species, both native and degraded pastures are generally nutritionally poor and have low productivity. Further research is required to maximise the value of native pastures in farm systems, especially where irrigation and intensive grazing have been introduced.

The effect of soil nutrient status on perennial legume establishment and persistence

(Co-supervised with Dr Rowan Smith, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, Dr Chris Guppy, University of New England and Dr Richard Hayes, NSW Department of Primary Industries)

This project will investigate the role of soil nutrients in perennial legume establishment and develop nutrient management strategies for optimal legume productivity and persistence.

Perennial pasture legumes provide the nitrogen critical for animal live weight gain and profitability in mixed pasture swards. The establishment and persistence of perennial legumes is generally poor in mixed sward pastures. Generally, this has been hypothesised to be due to the competitive advantage of grasses, but how to increase the competitiveness of legume species is poorly understood. It is likely that sub-optimal nutrient levels are a factor in poor legume establishment and persistence.

If you are interested in these projects, or have ideas for additional projects please contact Beth directly by phone: +61 3 6226 5569 or email: