Senior Soil Scientist
Tel: 031 508 7400 (Switchboard)
Tel: 031 508 7437 (Direct)

Role & Overall Purpose

  • Undertake soil and plant nutrition research and develop recommendations for sugarcane production.
  • Transfer technology and best practices to growers and other stakeholders.
  • Promote best practices for soil health and site sustainability.
  • Mentor junior scientists and staff.


Soil chemistry and fertility, plant nutrition, soil and foliar diagnostics and analytics, soil organic matter, soil health, site sustainability monitoring, soil physics

Research Interests

  • Soil fertility and plant nutrition.
  • Soil health and quality.
  • Rapid screening and diagnostic tools for soil and plant nutrition, and health monitoring.
  • Site sustainability monitoring.
  • Understanding the impacts of management practices on soil quality and function.
  • Conversion of science outcomes to practical best practice and operational guidelines.
  • Value-chain integration of research outcomes and operational practices.

Key Outcomes

  • Best operational practices for crop nutritional and soil health based on scientific outcomes.
  • Responsible use of soil amendments used in crop production.
  • Efficient tools and techniques for improved soil assessment and monitoring.
  • Adoption of sustainable practices that ensure long-term productivity and profitability of agroecosystems.

Key Publications

Taylor T, Hughes J, Titshall LW. 2016. Mineralogy of volcanically-derived, alluvial soils at Moshi, Tanzania. Soil Research 54(8): 926-936.Mthimkhulu S, Podwojewski P, Hughes J, Titshall LW, Van Antwerpen R.  2016. The effect of 72 years of sugarcane residues and fertilizer management on soil physico-chemical properties. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 225: 54–61

Podwojewski P, Grellier S, Mthimkhulu S, Titshall LW. 2014. How tree encroachment and soil properties affect soil aggregate stability in an eroded grassland in South Africa. Soil Science Society of America Journal 78: 1753-1764

Bame IB, Hughes JC, Titshall LW and Buckley, CA. 2014. The effect of irrigation with anaerobic baffled reactor effluent on nutrient availability, soil properties and maize growth. Agricultural Water Management. 134: 50–59

Titshall LW, Rietz DN and Dovey SB. 2013. Management impacts on the long-term soil productivity of southern African commercial forestry plantations. Southern Forests, 75(4): 169-183

Bame IB, Hughes JC, Titshall LW and Buckley, CA. 2013. Leachate characteristics as influenced by anaerobic baffled reactor effluent application on three soils: a soil column study. Chemosphere, 93: 2171-2179.

Norris M and Titshall LW. 2012. The distribution of inherent phosphorus in fifteen water treatment residues from South Africa. Water SA, 38:716-720.

Taylor TS, Titshall LW, Hughes JC and Thibaud GR. 2012. Effect of tillage systems and nitrogen application rates on selected physical and biological properties of a clay loam soil in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. South African Journal of Plant and Soil, 29: 47-52.

Dlamini, P, Orchard, C, Jewitt, G, Lorentz, S, Titshall, LW, Chaplot, V. 2011. Controlling factors of sheet erosion under degraded grasslands in the sloping lands of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Agricultural Water Management, 98:1711-1718.



Titshall LW. 2015. Residual effects of long-term fertiliser application on soil chemical properties. ICFR Technical Note 06/2015. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2014. Sixth rotation growth results from Acacia mearnsii fertiliser trial provide insight into the residual effects of fertiliser application. ICFR Technical Note 03/2014. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2014. Growth responses to late-rotation fertilisation of pine sawtimber stands: 2.5 year results. ICFR Bulletin Series 07/2014. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2013. Mid-rotation fertilisation of eucalypt pulpwood plantations: Final results. ICFR Bulletin Series 09/2013. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2013. Post-thinning fertilisation of three Eucalyptus grandis sawtimber stands; Tzaneen: 43 month growth responses and an economic feasibility analysis. ICFR Bulletin Series 06/2013. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2012. The development of a soil and plant reference and archive collection at the ICFR.   ICFR Bulletin Series 05/2012. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW. 2012. Evidence of residual phosphorus after mid-rotation fertilisation in three eucalyptus pulpwood stands.  ICFR Technical note 03/2012. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.

Titshall LW, Rietz DN and Dovey, SB. 2012. A general review of site and management factors affecting long-term site productivity of commercial forestry plantations. ICFR Bulletin Series 07/2012. Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, PMB, SA.


  • BSc: Grassland Science and Zoology (Univ. of Natal, 1998)
  • BSc Honours: Grassland science (Univ. of Natal, 1999)
  • MSc: Environmental Science (Univ. of Natal, 2003)
  • PhD: Soil Science (Univ. of KwaZulu-Natal, 2008)