Dr Vilim Filipović

Senior Lecturer

School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability
Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 52051


Vilim has BSc and MSc degrees in Agroecology with a major in Soil Science and a PhD in Environmental Soil Physics and Ecohydrology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. After the completion of his PhD on the topic of nitrate transport modelling in soil (2012), he has undertaken a postdoctoral fellowship (INRAE, France) focusing on modelling the impact of agricultural practices at the field scale on water dynamics and pesticide transport with Professor Yves Coquet and Dr. Pierre Benoit. He took on the academic position at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture (Croatia) in 2016 as Assistant Professor and from 2022 as Associate Professor. He has been teaching Environmental soil science and hydrology courses and has supervised 21 MSc and 2 PhD students. In 2022 he took on a research position at Federation University in Australia in the Future Region Research Centre led by Professor Thomas Baumgartl focusing on mine rehabilitation issues. During his career, he has been a visiting scholar at CSIRO (Australia), SLU (Sweden), University of California, University of Florida, Penn State University (USA), BOKU (Austria), CEH (UK), ZALF (Germany), CZU (Czech Republic) and ILVO (Belgium).

Vilim has led various national and international projects focusing on agricultural and environmental issues in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. He was granted a bilateral project with CSIRO in 2019 and Starting grant project in 2020 with ZALF and Forschungszentrum Jülich. These grants were funded by the Croatian Science Foundation (equivalent to the ARC funding body).

Vilim is currently Associate Editor of the Soil Science Society of America Journal and Vadose Zone Journal and is actively involved in different international scientific groups focusing on vadose zone processes and numerical modelling. He was the recipient of the Soil Society of America Early Career Award for 2019 and selected as a Visiting Fellow in 2021 at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research ZALF Institute (with Dr Horst H. Gerke) in Germany.

Research Interests

  • Soil physical and hydraulic properties estimation
    Variations in soil water contents and water flow affect soil biogeochemistry, plant uptake, solute (e.g., nutrients and pesticides) movement, and heat transport. These processes are controlled by the soil's physical and hydraulic properties. Proper knowledge of soil water retention curves and hydraulic properties derived from infield, laboratory or inverse numerical methods is essential for sustainable agroecosystem management. My research aims to advance the estimation and understanding of soil hydraulic properties and improve the level of implementation of such information in applied environmental and agricultural studies.
  • Transport processes in soil-plant-atmosphere continuum
    The soil-plant-atmosphere nexus is a complex and interconnected system that is essential for the functioning of ecosystems. Understanding the dynamics and processes occurring in this system is crucial for addressing issues related to soil degradation, climate change, and food security. My research is focusing on the proper quantification of transport processes (water and solute fluxes) in soil-plant-atmosphere systems based on experimental data collection from displacement soil cores or monoliths (soil columns), lysimeters, CT imaging and in-situ monitoring techniques with emphasis on structured soils.
  • Numerical modelling of water flow and solute dynamics in heterogenous soils
    Numerical modelling can be used as a predicting tool for the estimation of various agricultural management systems (e.g., water management, tillage, fertilizer, compost, and pesticide application) leading towards more environmentally sustainable production. I’m focusing on applying models of various complexity (single and dual porosity and dual permeability models using HYDRUS suite) in one-, two-, or three-dimensional porous media. My research has shown the importance of estimation and modelling of preferential flow and nonuniform solute transport in structured soils.

Research Impacts

Plant agricultural production primarily takes place in soil critical (vadose) zone which represents one of the most complex terrestrial systems due to a wide range of processes occurring within its boundaries. As the human population is continuously rising, large pressure is projected on soil and water resources, as well as on food production in agroecosystems. The aim of Vilim's research is to understand transport processes within the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum by combining novel soil monitoring and modelling approaches and examining the possibilities of decreasing environmental pressures on soil and water resources and supporting sustainable agriculture. Through his activities, he contributed to research topics on soil water dynamics and soil physics, preferential flow and non-equilibrium transport processes in soil, the fate of contaminants (e.g., nutrients, pesticides, trace metals, pharmaceuticals), mine rehabilitation ecohydrology, and numerical modelling within the soil vadose zone. His research includes large field experiments, as well as lysimeter, glasshouse, and laboratory scale research with expertise in numerical modelling. He has been working on these topics through fundamental scientific and applied projects at national and international levels.


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Bogunovic, Igor, Filipovic, Lana, Filipovic, Vilim and Kisic, Ivica (2023). Agricultural soil degradation in Croatia. Impact of Agriculture on Soil Degradation II A European Perspective. (pp. 1-34) edited by Paulo Pereira, Miriam Muñoz-Rojas, Igor Bogunovic and Wenwu Zhao. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/698_2022_919

  • He, Hailong, Aogu, Kailin, Li, Min, Xu, Jinghui, Sheng, Wenyi, Jones, Scott B., González-Teruel, Juan D., Robinson, David A., Horton, Robert, Bristow, Keith, Dyck, Miles, Filipović, Vilim, Noborio, Kosuke, Wu, Qingbai, Jin, Huijun, Feng, Hao, Si, Bingcheng and Lv, Jialong (2021). A review of time domain reflectometry (TDR) applications in porous media. Advances in Agronomy. (pp. 83-155) Maryland Heights, MO United States: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/bs.agron.2021.02.003

  • Mustać, Ivan, Filipović, Vilim, Filipović, Lana, Ondrašek, Gabrijel and Petošić, Dragutin (2020). Agricultural management strategies for countering drought conditions in Eastern Croatia. Drought - detection and solutions. London, United Kingdom: IntechOpen. doi: 10.5772/intechopen.88503

  • Filipović, Vilim, Ondrašek, Gabrijel and Filipović, Lana (2016). Modelling water dynamics, transport processes and biogeochemical reactions in soil vadose zone. Groundwater - contaminant and resource management. (pp. *-*) edited by Muhammad Salik Javaid. London, United Kingdom: InTech. doi: 10.5772/63496

  • Ondrasek, Gabrijel, Rengel, Zed, Petosic, Dragutin and Filipovic, Vilim (2014). Land and Water Management Strategies for the Improvement of Crop Production. Emerging Technologies and Management of Crop Stress Tolerance. (pp. 291-313) Elsevier Inc.. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800875-1.00013-2

Journal Article

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor