Monash biologist to play a key role in a new $35 million research centre to grow Australian agriculture
Internationally renowned plant expert Professor John Bowman from the School of Biological Sciences will lead the Monash node of the recently announced $35 million Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture.
Monash will receive just over $2 million over seven years for its part in the Centre which will identify a new generation of agricultural crops able to withstand the effects of climate change and improve food security.
Earlier this month the Federal Government announced $35 million to establish the Centre, which will be led by and based at the University of Queensland.
Researchers from the University of Queensland will collaborate with experts at four Australian universities and 13 academic and industry partner organisations from Australia, Europe, Asia, America and Canada. Together they will provide an additional $75.2 million in cash and in-kind support to the centre.
Welcoming the announcement, Professor Bowman, said the ARC Centre for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture will discover the genetic mechanisms underpinning productivity and resilience in diverse plants and deepen knowledge of the genetic and physiological networks driving key traits.
“With a uniquely multidisciplinary team, the Centre will deliver new strategies to address the problems of food security and climate change, establishing Australia as a global leader in these areas,” Professor Bowman said.
Using novel quantitative and computational approaches, the Centre will link gene networks with traits across biological levels, giving breeders an unparalleled predictive capacity.
The Centre will accelerate technologies to transfer successful networks into crops and build legal frameworks to secure this knowledge.
Announcing the funding, the Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Centre will bring together a unique multidisciplinary team from academia and industry to address the problems of food security and climate change, establishing Australia as a global leader in this field of research.
For more information about the Centre see: ARC Centres of Excellence program is on the ARC website.