Our Team
Our team is committed to being your local, independent, scientific-backed source of information on all things plant, soil and water nutrition.

APAL's team of dedicated, highly trained and skilled staff proudly share the company's passion for agriculture.

The team has a wealth of experience and knowledge, consisting of educated and broadly skilled managers, chemists, laboratory technicians and administrative staff who bring their own skills and expertise to all areas of their work.

In addition to their skills, APAL's team share an unwavering commitment to building and maintaining excellent relationships with clients.

When testing with APAL, you can be assured of consistent, reliable and competent responses to your queries about samples or results.

APAL always strives to improve and therefore invests in staff development and training, so you can be confident of the team's skills in delivering timely and accurate results.

Darryl Hartley (Chief Executive Officer)

Darryl has over 28 years of experience leading laboratory teams extending through various technical and management roles in industries including Agriculture, Geotechnical Engineering, Geoanalytical, Mineral Processing and Mining. Darryl has been with APAL for 5 years serving as General Manager.

Darryl holds a Diploma of Business from the Mount Eliza Business School and an Advanced Certificate of Applied Science.

Ryan Walker (Executive Director)

Dr Ryan Walker has held a leading role in APAL since his purchase of the business in 2014. Ryan's specialty in agronomy and agribusiness has enabled APAL to effectively assist stakeholders within the agriculture sector to increase the sustainability and profitability of their operations.

Ryan holds a PhD in research of Black Point, a grain discolouration in Wheat and Barley, along with holding a University of Adelaide Honours degree in Agriculture.

Sean Mason (R&D Manager)

Dr Sean Mason has considerable experience in soil and plant nutrition.

While working at the University of Adelaide, he was involved in validating and commercialising the DGT soil test for phosphorous.

Dr Mason has a proven track record in leading several GRDC/SAGIT funded projects, delivering vital information to the agricultural industry. He has significant experience in the design and analysis of replicated field and glasshouse trials, including glasshouse trials that use radioisotopes.

Dr Mason's ability to translate research results and influence practice change also lends expertise to the communication of research work to researchers, advisers and growers through a vast range of media including GRDC's Ground Cover magazine, More Profit from Crop Nutrition initiative meetings, GRDC Updates, conferences, field days and international literature.

Tim Thompson (Senior Chemist/Operations Manager)

Tim has over 31 years of experience in laboratory scientist, laboratory management and company directorial roles. Tim has scientific expertise in environmental sciences (particularly water quality), contaminated site assessment and remediation, fertiliser and industrial chemicals manufacture and quality control, fluid fertiliser formulation, agricultural soil and tissue testing, plant physiology and soil science and agronomy.

Tim holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Adelaide majoring in Organic Chemistry, Physical & Organic chemistry. Tim also holds a Certificate IV in small business management.

George Petrakis (Instrumentation & QA Manager)

Throughout George's 40-year careern valuable experience has been gained in analytical techniques encompassing the changing requirements dictated by the Mining sector and now the Agricultural sector.

This experience encompasses a wide range of responsibilities and activities including Preparation and Analysis of samples; Calculation and scrutiny of results; monitoring Quality Control and Quality Systems; the Production of final reports; Commissioning of New Equipment and Method Development; Staff Supervision and Training including their Health and Welfare; Client Management & Liaison; Logistics.

George holds a Science Technician's Certificate from the South Australian Institute of Technology as well as a Diploma of Business majoring in front line management. George also holds a long list of personal and professional development qualifications from his long career in the industry.

Sharon Clayton (Laboratory Supervisor)

Sharon Clayton has more than 21 years experience in agricultural laboratories extending through various technical and management roles. Sharon has been at APAL for 21 years, greatly contributing to the laboratory's success and growth.

Sharon has completed many lab qualifications in relation to NATA ISO/IEC 17025, administration and method and instrumentation.

Cathy Griff (Administration Manager)

Cathy Griff has over 30 years experience within office administration and customer service roles. Cathy has been with APAL for 14 years, contributing to its continued success and growth within this period.

Cathy has completed training in NATA ISO/IEC 17025 requirements and leadership.

Rachelle Scott (Administration Manager - Perth)

Rachelle has 20+ years of varied Administration, Project, Quality and Training in the areas of Mining, Fabrication, Education, HR and now Agriculture.

Steph Zanker (Executive Team Assistant)

Steph has 8 years of experience in Administration, 7 Years of bookkeeping and accounts administration at APAL.

Steph is currently completing a Bachelor of Accounting.

About Us

APAL is an independent, accredited laboratory with a commitment to accuracy and quality of data.

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Our Accreditation

APAL’s laboratory facilities are accredited by the Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC).

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