Dr Megan Balks

Senior Lecturer (Earth Sciences)

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Massey PhD Waikato

Research Interests

Soil and environmental science, especially pedology and applied soil physics; Antarctic soils and permafrost; impacts of human activities on the Antarctic terrestrial environment; land treatment and disposal of effluent; irrigation, soil salinity.

Megan Balks is currently Secretary of ANTPAS (the Antarctica and Sub-Antarctic Permafrost, Soils and Periglacial Environments Group.

Research Supervised


  • Salmanzadeh, Mahdiyeh (in progress). Cadmium accumulation in agricultural soils.
  • O'Neill, Tanya (2013). Soil physical impacts and recovery rates following human-induced disturbances in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.
  • McLeod, Malcolm (2012). Soil and permafrost distribution, soil characterisation and soil vulnerability to human foot trampling, Wright Valley, Antarctica.


  • Parker, Elizabeth (in progress).
  • Singh, Ricky (in progress)
  • Sun,  Zheng (in progress)

MSc (Research)

  • Noyes, Adrea (2016). Soil recovery on landslides in hill country at Whatawhata Research Station, western Waikato, New Zealand.
  • Bagley, Emma (2015). The occurrence and causes of pasture pulling under dairy farming on pumice soils.
  • Subbagha, Sylvia (in progress). The fate of fertiliser on peat soils in the Waikato Region.
  • Tulagi, Asaeli (2015). Evaluating the potential of historic sheep dips as point sources of trace element and organochlorine pollutants.


  • Rau, Johnathon (in progress).
  • Laubscher, Nadia (2014). Improvement in soil water availability in pastures by excavating and mixing buried soil horizons from multilayered Pumice Soils (Vitrands) at Galatea, central North Island, New Zealand.
  • Arrowsmith, Max (2013). Phosphorus Distribution In Relation To Soil Landscape Groups In Steep North Island Hill Country In New Zealand.
  • Goddard, Holly (2013). Investigation of air and soil climate across the latitudinal and altitudinal gradient of the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.
  • Scarrow, Joshua (2013). Soil chronosequences and bacterial communities of the Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica .
  • Telfer, Erin (2013). Leaching and uptake of nitrogen, and pasture production, associated with irrigation of treated wastewater, Taupō, New Zealand.
  • Lewis, Riki (2011). Changes in carbon and nitrogen stocks following conversion of plantation forest to dairy pasture on pumice soils, in the Central North Island.
  • Paripovic, Djuro (2011). Impacts of conversion from forestry to pasture on soil physical properties of Vitrands (Pumice Soils) in the Central North Island, New Zealand.
  • Treweek, Glen (2011). Nitrogen leaching from effluent irrigated pasture.
  • Fazli, Bashirah (2010). Optimising the effectiveness of sediments retention ponds for Waikato soil materials.
  • Jobin, Mark (2010). Environmental Assessment of the Effects of Leachate Irrigation and Seepage from the Paokahu Landfill, Gisborne, New Zealand.


  • Sonthi, Ramana (2010). Gaseous emissions (NH₃, N₂O and CH₄) following manure or urea application to soil as influenced by amendments.

Contact Details

Room: DE.1.02
Phone: +64 7 838 4109