Plant production systems

How can growth in Australian and world food and fibre production be sustained under increasing system constraints?

Maintaining the strong role of agriculture in Australia's economy and addressing global concerns about food security are key challenges for our nation.  Changing socio-economic drivers, and environmental constraints, such as increasing temperatures and drought, along with threats from weeds, pests and disease, create a need to develop resilient farming systems that employ innovative technologies and diverse approaches to plant production.  Understanding how plants function and respond to environmental as well as management factors in our extensive cropping, irrigated, horticultural and pastoral enterprises is central to ensuring that crops and pastures remain productive.  At the same time, a thorough knowledge of whole farm systems is needed for effective and efficient use of finite resources by agricultural producers and other land managers.

Our team of researchers, uniquely placed in rural Australia with access to modern farms, advanced precision technology, information resources, genomic facilities and international partnerships, is conducting innovative research to tackle these local and global issues.

Research Groups

Our People

David BackhouseA/Professor David Backhouse

  • plant diseases
  • fungi
  • epidemiology of soilborne plant diseases
  • plant-pathogen interactions
  • biological control of plant diseases

Mr Craig Birchall

  • crop agronomy

Dr Alice Del Socorro

  • entomology
  • semiochemicals (plant volatiles and sex pheromones) as pest management tools
  • development of plant-based attractants for Helicoverpa moths and diamondback moths for use in an attract-and-kill approach
  • ecology of Helicoverpa spp. in inland Australia

Richard FlavelDr Richard Flavel

  • crop agronomy and plant nutrition
  • root system architecture
  • soil-plant interactions (physics and chemistry)
  • x-ray computed tomography, X-ray fluorescence

Mr Brendan Griffiths

  • crop agronomy

Oliver KnoxDr Oliver Knox

  • plant/microbial interactions
  • nematology
  • GM plants
  • bulky organic fertilisers
  • phosphorus and soil science

Paul KristiansenA/Professor Paul Kristiansen

  • horticulture
  • weed ecology and management
  • supply chain analysis
  • rural socioogy
  • organic (& alternative) farming systems
  • farming systems in SE Asia
  • experimental design and analysis

A/Professor Priti Krishna

  • plant stress biology
  • hormone biology
  • root biology

Brian SindelProfessor Brian Sindel

  • weed ecology and management
  • pasture and crop weed ecology and management
  • weed seed banks
  • weed surveys
  • crop competition and herbicide tolerance

Nigel WarwickDr Nigel Warwick

  • plant ecophysiology
  • soil-plant water dynamics of natural, forestry and agricultural systems
  • nutrient dynamics in arid, semi-arid and humid plant communities