trevor garnett

China taps into Australian plant phenomics expertise

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The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility’s (APPF) Dr Trevor Garnett and Dr Xavier Sirault are delighted to have been invited as a feasibility evaluation experts to review the Nanjing Agricultural University’s (NAU) plans for a new high-tech Phenotyping Research Centre later this month.

While in Nanjing, China, they will also give a talks at a phenotyping workshop at NAU and are invited guests of the Modern Agricultural Science and Technology Conference. Dr Garnett and Dr Sirault will return again to Nanjing in March 2018 as a keynote speakers at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Plant Phenotyping Conference.

Earlier this year Prof. Yanfeng Ding, Professor of Agronomy, Vice President NAU and colleagues traveled to Australia and met with Dr Garnett and Dr Sirault to tour the APPF’s facilities, and learn more about the latest plant phenotyping technology and expertise. The APPF is visited regularly by international agricultural research groups; most recently from Egypt, Sri Lanka, China, France, Morocco, Taiwan, Iran, Chile and New Zealand.

The APPF is a distributed network of national research infrastructure platforms that offer open access to plant phenomics technologies and expertise not available at this scale or breadth in the public sector anywhere else in the world. We provide state-of-the-art plant phenotyping tools and expertise to enable academic and commercial plant scientists, from Australia and around the world, address complex problems in plant and agricultural science.

About Dr Trevor Garnett

Dr Garnett is Technology Development Director at the APPF’s Adelaide node, based at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide. There, he is implementing new phenotyping technologies for the Australian phenomics community, such as hyperspectral imaging in controlled environments and the field, field phenotyping using UAVs and ground based platforms, and root phenotyping. Dr Garnett is also the Phenomics Program Leader of the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Wheat in a Hot and Dry Climate. His research interests include nitrogen use efficiency in cereals. (Dr Garnett is pictured above, talking with His Excellency Mr Mohamed Khairat, Ambassador of The Arab Republic of Egypt, in the APPF’s DroughtSpotter).

About Dr Xavier Sirault

Dr Sirault is Director of the APPF’s Canberra (CSIRO) node where he is responsible for its operational management, international engagement and transfer of its technology to industries. In parallel to this role, Dr Sirault works as a Senior Research Scientist for CSIRO Agriculture and Food. His research aims at understanding the factors that regulate and limit photosynthesis in crop plants, and in particular, how these factors influence plant growth and performance. Dr Sirault is also Vice Chair of the International Plant Phenotyping Network where he hopes to spearhead the development of solutions for maximising data inter-operability and data re-use globally. (Dr Sirault is pictured below, welcoming His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka, and his delegation).

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About Nanjing Agricultural University

NAU is one of the earliest institutions of higher agricultural education in China and a national key university under the Chinese Ministry of Education. A 2012 analysis of research citations by Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators found NAU among the top 1% of institutions in the fields of Agricultural Science, Plant & Animal Science and Environment/Ecology. Building on its century-long history, NAU is today pursuing a strategy of developing into one of the best agricultural universities in the world. The main campus of the university is situated in Weigang, in the picturesque eastern part of Nanjing near the UNESCO World Heritage Ming Imperial Tombs and the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. (NAU is pictured below).

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Spreading the word on great plant science

The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) will appear in the media twice this week, promoting the importance of plant science.

The Stock Journal ran an article today (27 April) featuring our very own Dr Trevor Garnett on the front cover, talking about the importance of investment in agricultural research and the services available to scientists at the APPF.

The Adelaide node of the APPF will also feature on Channel 9’s television show “South Aussie with Cosi” which will air this Friday (28 April) at 8pm as part of a feature on the history and incredibly important research undertaken within the Waite Research Precinct. The segment can be viewed online here (2:30min).Trevor_Stock Journal paper clips

What the experts are saying about plant phenotyping and food security

‘It takes a village to raise a child’ states the age-old saying, but now it will take a village to feed the child as well – if we’re smart.

“Agriculture’s critical challenges of providing food security and better nutrition in the face of climate change can only be met through global communities that share knowledge and outputs; looking inward will not lead to results,” said Ulrich Schurr, Director of the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences of the Forschungszentrum Jülich and Chair of the International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN), speaking at the 4th International Plant Phenotyping Symposium in Mexico recently.

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Dr Jose Jimenez-Berni (keynote speaker), Dr Xavier Sirault (Co-Chair IPPN), Dr Trevor Garnett and Dr Bettina Berger from the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility at the symposium

200 world-class scientists from over 20 countries gathered from 13 to 15 December 2016 to share knowledge and technology at the symposium, co-hosted by IPPN and the Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT.

The symposium was attended by Dr Bettina Berger, Dr Trevor Garnett, Dr Xavier Sirault and Dr Jose Jimenez-Berni from the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF). Dr Sirault is also Co-Chair of the IPPN and Dr Jimenez-Berni gave a keynote lecture on field phenotyping techniques developed at the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Facility (HRPPC) node of the APPF and how they can be applied to screen for plant development including biomass and canopy architecture in the field.

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Dr Jimenez-Berni (APPF) delivering his keynote lecture at the symposium

The symposium focused on three themes:

  • Advances in Plant Phenotyping Technologies to explore the frontiers of what can be sensed remotely and other technological breakthroughs.
  • Phenotyping for Crop Improvement to consider the application of phenotyping technologies for crop improvement (breeding, crop husbandry, and estimating the productivity of agro-ecosystems).
  • Adding Value to Phenotypic Data to review how phenomics and genomics can combine to improve crop simulation models and breeding methodologies (e.g., genomic selection).

Read the full article ‘Harnessing medical technology and global partnerships to drive gains in food crop productivity’ written by Mike Listman on CIMMYT’s website.

Read more excellent plant science articles by Mike Listman here.