The University of Western Australia has appointed internationally respected plant researcher, Winthrop Professor Karambir Singh, to head a joint UWA/CSIRO program on plant biotic stress and crop genomics.
Professor Singh is a Senior Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO leading a plant biotechnology group of postgraduate researchers and is program leader and officer in charge for the Plant Industry group in Perth.
He will take up an appointment within UWA's Institute of Agriculture while retaining his links to CSIRO, combining the two institutions' research strengths in plant pathology and crop genomics.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said the appointment would increase the opportunity for the institutions to conduct cutting-edge research into molecular plant genetics and pest management.
"Professor Singh's work at UWA will enhance our University's international reputation for research excellence in plant science, as well as the teaching of undergraduates and training of honours and postgraduate students in plant/crop genomics," Professor Robson said.
"This collaboration will enable us to address key issues of agricultural importance to Western Australia and indeed throughout the world."
CSIRO Plant Industry Division Chief Dr Jeremy Burdon said: "The collaboration between CSIRO Plant Industry and UWA will strengthen the research group's ability to address some of the major issues facing Australian agriculture, in particular those related to crop disease management."
Professor Singh's research group primarily works on plant disease problems with a focus on legumes, a new research area initiated in Perth about eight years ago. Legumes are important crops and vital for the sustainability of the large cereal crop based farming systems in southern Australia which are worth billions of dollars in export earnings every year.
Simone Hewett (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 7977 / (+61 4) 20 790 097