The University of Western Australia is to establish an International Centre for Plant Breeding Education and Research.
The centre will be launched today, Friday 29 August at 4pm.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said the centre would play a vital role in addressing the looming global shortage in plant breeding expertise.
"There is growing recognition that there is a need to develop rapid crop breeding skills to help us adapt to climate change and to secure the world's food supplies," he said.
"The new centre will provide much needed integrated expertise in genetics, biotechnology and plant breeding. In effect, it will help provide the next generation of professional plant breeders for Australia, the Asia-Pacific region, and the Indian Ocean rim.
"The new centre will form part of the University's Institute of Agriculture and will significantly strengthen UWA's contributions to Australian and international agriculture."
The International Centre for Plant Breeding Education and Research will offer a four-year undergraduate science degree in genetics and breeding - the only one of its kind at an Australian university - and an undergraduate degree in agricultural science, with a component of genetics and breeding. Both degrees include training in crop agronomy, plant physiology, biometrics and related disciplines. It will also offer post-graduate study in genetics and plant breeding, as well as in-service training for practising plant breeders or seeds industry personnel.
Attention News Editors/Chiefs of Staff:
The International Centre for Plant Breeding Education and Research will be launched by Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance today, Friday 29 August at 4pm, at the UWA Watersports Complex (corner of Hackett Drive and Mounts Bay Rd, Crawley).
Professor Alan Robson (+61 8) 6488 2809
Professor Kadambot Siddique (Institute of Agriculture) (+61 8) 6488 7012 / (+61 4) 11 155 396
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716