UWA agriculture moving up in the world

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

A series of innovative projects and initiatives have placed the Institute of Agriculture (IOA), The University of Western Australia (UWA), at the forefront of national and international agricultural education and research.

IOA Director, Professor Kadambot Siddique, said plant based food, fibre and industrial raw materials were essential for human survival against the backdrop of escalating input costs and climate change.

Recognising this has led to the development, earlier this year, of  the International Centre for Plant Breeding, Education and Research (ICPBER) at UWA within the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Professor Siddique said the Centre addressed the emerging global need for training first class scientists in genetics, biotechnology and plant breeding.

CBH UWA scholarships an honour for Weetman and Alderman

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Novel weed management methods are the focus of two recently completed fourth year projects by students at the Institute of Agriculture (IOA), The University of Western Australia.

Professor Kadambot Siddique, IOA's Director, says weeds competing with crops and pastures for sunlight, water and nutrients are a major constraint to agricultural production, costing farmers billions of dollars each year in lost production and management costs.

"With global population forecast to exceed nine billion by 2050, there will be a significant and increasing demand for food without increasing the land area used for agriculture.

A ‘c-change’ for UWA Institute of Agriculture

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Long term strategies for adapting to climate change will result from a collaborative project between researchers at the Institute of Agriculture (IOA), The University of Western Australia (UWA) and Lanzhou University (LU) in west China.

Professor Kadambot Siddique, IOA’s Director, said the Institute was invited by LU to become a partner in a ‘111 Project’ on sustainable development of agricultural systems in dry and cold ecosystems of the Loess Plateau, Gansu Province, west China.

“The project’s overall objective is capacity building, by training researchers and postgraduate students in characterising dry and cold ecosystems and improving crop and pasture production technologies, land management and animal husbandry practices.

UWA Institute of Agriculture helps deliver Ausaid to Iraq

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Drought, war and limited access to technological advances have had a significant negative impact on agriculture development and productivity in Iraq.

To help redress the 50 per cent decline in Iraqi major crop production in the past 20 years, 27 Iraqi agricultural scientists are being trained in advanced integrated plant disease management (IPDM) at the Institute of Agriculture (IOA) at The University of Western Australia (UWA).

UWA Plant Centre to help address global food shortages

Monday, 6 October 2008

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.

CLIMA consolidates as new Director commences

Monday, 6 October 2008

William Erskine, Assistant Director General (Research) at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Syria for the last seven years, has commenced as Director of  the Centre for Legumes In Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA) as it consolidates its third phase as a research centre within the University of Western Australia (UWA).

UK born, Professor Erskine completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1973, a Masters of Agriculture in 1976 and a PhD (University of Cambridge, Department of Applied Biology) in 1979.

Fish, grains and game on UWA Agriculture Open Day menu

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Aquaculture and native fish breeding, alternative oilseeds, salt tolerant wheat, new legumes, emus and game birds, turf and super brassicas were topics on the menu at the 2008 Agriculture Open Day held by The University of Western Australia (UWA) Institute of Agriculture (IOA).

Middle East meets Western wheatbelt

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Declining global biodiversity, which threatens plant genetic diversity and therefore the raw materials humans rely on for food, fibre, fuel, medicine and industrial products, has led to a far ranging collaborative research project between The University of Western Australia (UWA) and Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in the Sultanate of Oman.

UWA Institute of Agriculture showcases postgrads

Monday, 16 June 2008

Frontiers in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management were the themes for eight presentations by postgraduate research students from the four schools within the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (FNAS), The University of Western Australia (UWA).

Yesterday, at the opening of the 2008 UWA Institute of Agriculture Postgraduate Showcase, Professor Don Markwell, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Education, said UWA was deeply committed to fostering research and the event highlighted recent developments and brought together staff, students, industry and potential employers.

Engineering soil quality indicators

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Resource economics, using mathematical models and numbers to investigate farming and environmental problems, could provide a simple procedure for summarising multiple physical, biochemical and biological parameters into a single soil quality index.

Masturbating ostriches a touchy business

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

People say a “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”, but try masturbating a two metre tall, 120 kilogram male ostrich with powerful legs and toenails and you’ve got a challenge on your hands.

Researchers in the School of Animal Biology at The University of Western Australia (UWA) have achieved a world-first by developing animal and human-friendly methods for semen collection and artificial insemination in ostriches.

West welcomes Iranian input to barley breeding

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Quantifying how well cereals, such as barley and wheat, can tolerate drought can be a measure of their true value to dryland agricultural systems, such as those in Western Australia and Iran.

Although hemispheres apart, there are similarities and some of these were recently assessed by Iranian PhD scholar Shahab Maddah-Hosseini while in WA on a six month ATSE Crawford Fund training award from August 2007 to January 2008.

Zinc link made in barley breeding

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Chromosomal regions conferring zinc efficiency in barley, recently identified by three WA researchers, could have important implications for improving the zinc status of the human diet.

Behzad Sadeghzadeh, PhD student and Professor Zed Rengel, both of the School of Earth and Geographical Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (FNAS) at The University of Western Australia (UWA), worked with Dr Chengdao Li from the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) on the project.

Mt Barker farmer awarded honorary doctorate in agriculture

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Mt Barker farmer Terry Enright last night became the first farmer to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Agriculture from The University of Western Australia (UWA).

Dr Enright, who grows barley, canola and pulses and grazes sheep and cattle on his Great Southern property, has devoted 25 years to agriculture, natural resource management and research and has played a leading role in the administration and strategic direction of agricultural research and education.

Graeme Martin, Joanne Elliott, Neroli Smith and Kadambot Siddique

Agricultural Science graduates show their talents at the Young Professionals in Agricultural Forum

Monday, 7 April 2008

The Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (AIAST) recently awarded top honours for scientific excellence in agriculture to the University of Western Australia (UWA) animal science PhD student Ms Joanne Elliott and Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) research officer Ms Neroli Smith as joint winners of the Young Professionals in Agriculture award. 

The good oil on WA sandalwood

Thursday, 3 April 2008

While world supplies of natural sandalwood may be dwindling, women can still buy perfumes, such as Obsession by Calvin Klein and Opium by Yves St Laurent, which contain the essential oil, thanks to researchers such as Chris Jones, a PhD candidate in the School of Plant Biology at The University of Western Australia (UWA).

Once widespread throughout southern WA, but almost wiped out in the grainbelt due to clearing for farmland, sandalwood, Santalum spicatum and it’s northern relative, S. album, are making a comeback as plantation trees.

“In WA’s Kununurra area close to 2000 hectares of Santalum album  have been planted and more than  4000 hectares of S. spicatum have been planted in the wheatbelt area of southern WA,” Mr Jones said.

UWA researchers ‘ion’ out wheat toxicity issue

Monday, 31 March 2008

Researchers at Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia (UWA), are supporting WA wheat breeders and ultimately growers by characterising the genetic and physiological traits of wheat that enable it to tolerate high concentrations of aluminium, manganese and iron.

With funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA), Dr Hossein Saberi and Professor Zed Rengel of the School of Earth and Geographical Sciences and Institute of Agriculture, UWA, have developed screening techniques for assessing the tolerance of different wheat varieties to ion toxicity.

Heat on white rust in mustard

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Researchers from the School of Plant Biology at The University of Western Australia (UWA) and Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) have identified useful sources of resistance to white rust in Brassica juncea mustard germplasm sourced from Australia, China and India.

White rust affects cruciferous plants, which include the cabbage family, and the infection can be local, appearing as white pustules on leaves, stems and floral parts, or systemic, as abnormal distorted growth of stems, pods and flowers, which is commonly referred to as stagheads. Flowers displaying staghead formation are sterile.

Pushing back agricultural frontiers

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Eight PhD students from four schools within the Institute of Agriculture at the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (FNAS) at the University of Western Australia (UWA) recently presented their research to an audience of 60 in a post-graduate showcase, ‘Frontiers in Agriculture and Resource Management’.

Focussing on innovative land management and animal production systems, as well as plant production for the future, the sessions were an opportunity to showcase high quality research and for students to interact with the industry and potential employers.

New website menu a smorgasboard for growers

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Growers and people working in agribusiness who have ever yearned for computer access to Green Manure or Lime Calculators or just a down-to-earth look at soil properties in their region of WA need look no further.

Dr Daniel Murphy from the School of Earth and Geographical Sciences and Institute of Agriculture at the University of Western Australia (UWA) has launched a free interactive website designed with such clients in mind.