TERN

Decadal Plan for Australian Agricultural Sciences 2017-2026 released

Grow. Make. Prosper. The Decadal Plan for Australian Agricultural Sciences was published in June 2017 and presents the strategic vision for Australian Agricultural Sciences in the next decade.

The plan outlines strategies to improve the strength and efficiency of agricultural research in Australia in ways that will increase the ability of governments and producers to maintain productivity and efficiency in the face of evolving natural challenges. Successfully identifying, developing and deploying the next generation of game-changing scientific advances remains an active and ongoing challenge. The plan also outlines strategies to capitalise on emerging technologies that will affect the agricultural sciences.

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Agriculture is vitally important to Australia’s economy and social fabric, and contributes to global health and wellbeing. It faces a range of challenges across biophysical, economic and social arenas. Opportunities for technological and production improvements are continuously being identified from scientific research. However, to attain step change improvements in profitability, productivity and sustainability into the future will require integrated multidisciplinary research underpinned by a well-resourced science research pipeline.

The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility plays a key role in supporting the next generation of agricultural research designed to answer some of these challenges. This month we will meet with colleagues from fellow NCRIS facilities TERN, BPA, ALA, NeCTAR and NCI to explore opportunities for collaboration, determine where overlaps or synergies occur and discuss bigger picture ideas to ensure NCRIS funding is used most effectively.

Read the full Decadal Plan for Australian Agricultural Sciences (2017-2026) here.

Find out more about the APPF here.

National National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)

Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN)

Bioplatforms Australia (BPA)

Australian Atlas of Living (ALA)

National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR)

National Computational Infrastructure (NCI)

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Spying on trees

Dr Tim Brown from the APPF’s team at the Australian National University is helping researchers from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) to use surveillance camera networks and drone data to spy on trees. The project will make huge amounts of time-lapse image data accessible for scientists trying to understand how climate change will affect forests around the world.

“Rapid change in technology has made it possible to cheaply deploy lots of cameras and generate vast coverage. This complexity of data is needed to crack really serious environmental issues”, says Tim, who is harnessing gaming technology to organise the huge quantities of data that are produced by surveillance cameras and other sensors into easily accessible formats.

“I’m excited to make tools for citizen science, or students for example. They can visit a forest on the other side of the world in virtual reality, or for under $100 build their own time-lapse camera and use our software to monitor the environment at their school.” Read more

An example of Tim’s work, a panorama of North Canberra taken from Black Mountain, showing the contrast between spring and autumn colours was selected as the cover for the March 2016 issue of the Journal Frontiers in Ecology, in which his research is published.

You can also view an interactive version of the Canberra Panorama.

2016 Blog Tim Brown