Monthly Archives: December 2010

SA Minister for Education and Science Tours Waite Campus

The Hon. Jack Snelling MP (Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for Road Safety, Minister for Veterans Affairs), visited the Waite Campus on Tuesday 7 December 2010. He was accompanied by his advisor Dr Tung Ngo and Carolyn Anderson, Director, Science and Information Economy, DFEEST.

Jason Eglinton, Jack Snelling MP and Roger Leigh, 7 Dec 2010

Jason Eglinton, Jack Snelling MP and Roger Leigh

The purpose of the visit was to showcase some of the Waite’s key agricultural research areas to the Minister. Professor Roger Leigh, Head of the School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, and Director of the WRI and Mr Martyn Evans, Director Community Engagement, UoA took the Minister to some key buildings at the Waite campus. They visited the Barley Breeding laboratories where the group was given an overview by Associate Professor Jason Eglinton, they then walked to the Wine Innovation Centre (WIC) building and were given a tour by Professor Dennis Taylor. This was followed by a demonstration of how populations of plants can be climatised using The Plant Accelerator (TPA) with Professor Mark Tester then it was onto the Plant Genomics Centre for a tour with Professor Geoff Fincher.

A luncheon was held on the main balcony of the Plant Genomics Centre and this was also attended by Mr Perry Gunner, Chair WRI and Deputy-Chair, Viterra, Professor Mike Brooks, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research), UoA, Professor Bob Gibson, Director FOODplus Research Centre, UoA and Professor Diane Mather, Plant Breeding and Genetics, UoA. During lunch there was a lively discussion about future developments on the Waite and their importance to South Australia.

All up it was a very informative and successful visit to the Waite and the Campus looks forward to Minister Snelling returning soon for possible follow-up collaborations.

Recognition from the American Society of Plant Biologists

Dr Simon Robinson

Dr Simon Robinson

Two prominent Waite plant scientists, Mark Tester (Professor of Plant Physiology – ACPFG and Director, The Plant Accelerator) and Dr Simon Robinson (Program Leader – CSIRO Plant Industry) are

among 45 scientists who have been identified by the American Society of Plant Biologists for the influence of their work based on an analysis of citations of papers published in Plant Physiology and Plant Cell. The list can be downloaded from http://my.aspb.org/resource/resmgr/docs/aspbtopauthors.pdf

Professor Mark Tester

Professor Mark Tester

 

and includes 11 plant scientists from North America, 14 from Europe, 12 from Australasia and 7 from Asia. This is further confirmation of the high international quality of the research done in the partner organisations at Waite.

 

Official launch of Foodplus and Public Event

The Foodplus Panel

The Foodplus Panel

On Wednesday the 8th December on the eve of the  launch of FOODplus Research Centre, a public event was held at the Elder Hall. A panel of nutrition experts was convened to discuss Food for Health and the myths surrounding this topic. This was a well attended event and provoked a lively discussion. The recording is now available here for those who missed this event or would like to hear it again.

We are very pleased to announce that on Thursday the 9th of December, Foodplus was officially launched in the Mortlock Chamber of the State Library by the Hon. Michael O’Brien, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and the Hon. John Hill, Minister for Health. Also  speaking at this event were Mr Frank Kite, chair of Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute council, Professor Roger Leigh, director of Waite Research Institute and Head of School of Agriculture Food and Wine, Richard Russell AM, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Operations) University of Adelaide and Professor Robert Gibson, director of FOODplus Research Centre.

 

Professor Rober Gibson, The Hon. Michael O'Brien and Professor Roger Leigh

Professor Rober Gibson, The Hon. Michael O'Brien and Professor Roger Leigh

Chinese Academy Sciences visit the Waite Campus

On Monday November 15, 2010 the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus was honoured by a visit from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) President, Professor Lu Yongxiang. A key issue of mutual concern between China and Australia is research into solutions for global food security.

Members of the President’s official delegation were;

  • Professor Tan Tieniiu, Deputy Secretary General, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
  • Professor Lu Yonglong, Director General, Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
  • Professor Yang Weicai, Deputy Director General, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
  • Mr Deng Fanjin, Personal Assistant to President Lu Yongxiang and
  • Mr Shizhuan Zhang, Acting Deputy  Director, Division of American & Oceanian Affairs, Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

They were also accompanied by Mr Feng Xuan from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia, Ms Nancy Pritchard, Manager – International Programs, Australian Academy of Science and Ms Mary Finlay, General Manager – International Science and EIF Branch Science and Infrastructure Division, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

The tour included a visit to the Plant Genomics Centre, the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (The Plant Accelerator), the Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory (the Winery) and Urrbrae house. At Urrbrae house a MOU on cooperation between the University of Adelaide and the CAS Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology was signed by Professor Yang Weicai and Professor Mike Brooks, Deputy Vice Chancellor & Vice President (Research). CAS President Professor Lu then met with Professor James McWha, Vice Chancellor & President, Professor Brooks, and Professor John Taplin, Pro Vice Chancellor (International).

UoA Vice Chancellor, Professor James McWha (left) and CAS President, Professor Lu Yongxiang outside Urrbrae house, Waite campus.

UoA Vice Chancellor, Professor James McWha (left) and CAS President, Professor Lu Yongxiang outside Urrbrae house, Waite campus.

 

This was then followed by a luncheon hosted by Professor McWha in Urrbrae’s dining room including the following additional guests;

  • Professor Roger Leigh, Head of Agriculture, Food and Wine (AFW) School and Director, Waite Research Institute (WRI)
  • Professor Mark Tester, Director, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility
  • Professor Peter Langridge, CEO of Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG)
  • Professor Geoff Fincher, Deputy CEO of Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) and Director-designate of the ARC Centre of Excellence on Plant Cell Walls.
  • Professor Mike Keller, Associate Dean (International), Faculty of Sciences
  • Ms Sandy McConachy, Director, East Asia Strategy
  • Ms Nancy Pritchard, Manager – International Programs, Australian Academy of Science
  • Ms Mary Finlay, General Manager, International Science and EIF Branch Science and Infrastructure Division, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

On Wednesday 17 November, several research delegates from CAS also visited and toured the Waite campus. The group was accompanied by Ms Shannon Newham and Megan from the Australian Academy of Science. The morning began with Professor Roger Leigh giving an introductory talk about the School of AFW and the WRI. This was followed by Professor Bob Gibson’s overview of the specialised research conducted at the FOODplus Research Centre.

After a brief walk up Hartley Grove to the Plant Genomics Centre, the delegates then toured the facility with Professor Peter Langridge, CEO of ACPFG and Research Fellow Bu-Jun Shi.

ACPFG Research Fellow Dr Bu-Jun Shi (seated far left) and Professor Roger Leigh, Head of School AFW and Director WRI (seated second from right) with the research delegates from CAS in Reception of the ACPFG building

ACPFG Research Fellow Dr Bu-Jun Shi (seated far left) and Professor Roger Leigh, Head of School AFW and Director WRI (seated second from right) with the research delegates from CAS in Reception of the ACPFG building

The CAS Delegates also visited The Plant Accelerator building and received a tour from Professor Mark Tester, Director, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility.

Professor Mark Tester Director, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (standing centre) with CAS research delegates outside TPA, Wednesday 17 Nov 2010

Professor Mark Tester Director, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (standing centre) with CAS research delegates outside TPA, Wednesday 17 Nov 2010

This was followed by a tour of the joint CAS laboratory in CSIRO’s Taylor Building by Professors Sally and Andrew Smith.

<Professor Sally Smith with the CAS delegates in the Taylor Building Wednesday 17 November 2010

Professor Sally Smith with the CAS delegates in the Taylor Building Wednesday 17 November 2010

CAS delegates outside the Taylor Building Wednesday 17 November 2010 with Professor Andrew Smith (standing 3rd from left) and Professor Sally Smith (standing 6th from left)

CAS delegates outside the Taylor Building Wednesday 17 November 2010 with Professor Andrew Smith (standing 3rd from left) and Professor Sally Smith (standing 6th from left)

Lastly, but not least, after another brisk walk across campus, the group got an excellent overview of the Barley Breeding Program by Associate Professor Jason Eglinton.

 

Associate Professor Jason Eglinton discussing the successes of the Barley Breeding Program in the ‘Northern Barns’ laboratories.

Associate Professor Jason Eglinton discussing the successes of the Barley Breeding Program in the ‘Northern Barns’ laboratories.

 

The extensive morning tour was then concluded with a much-appreciated lunch break at the Lirra Lirra cafe. Following lunch the CAS delegates walked back up the hill to tour SARDI within the Plant Research Centre and to see the various hot houses and growth chambers.

These two CAS visits to the Waite Campus on Monday 15 and Wednesday 17 November were very important for the University of Adelaide and all the collocated partners at the Waite campus as they helped strengthened agricultural research linkages between China and Australia.