Professor Young to deliver ‘Dean’s Lecture’ in Melbourne

Published 25 November 2010

iainyoungProfessor Iain Young, Head of the School of Environmental and Rural Science at the University of New England, will give a talk tomorrow, Friday 26 November, as part of this year’s Dean’s Lecture Series at the University of Melbourne.

The Dean’s Lecture Series is an annual program of public lectures presented by distinguished guests, and hosted by the Melbourne School of Land and Environment.  The program is designed to enlighten, educate and encourage community involvement and discussion.

Professor Young’s lecture, titled “The biophysics of life in earth”, will focus on the importance of the microbial life in soil, and link the biology and physics of soil processes. It will cover soil water and the movement of nematodes and fungi, and use videos from Professor Young’s work on high-resolution computer tomography to illustrate the importance of biophysics.

Professor Young (pictured here) will present models of how this complex process can be conceived, explain the impact of these small microbes at larger scales, and discuss the importance of plant roots.

Tomorrow’s lecture is the G.W. Leeper Memorial Lecture, organised in association with the Victorian Branch of the Australian Society of Soil Science. It will begin at 5 pm in the Harold White Lecture Theatre in the University of Melbourne’s Arts Education Building, and will continue till 6.30 pm.

Professor Young, who holds a PhD in soil mechanics from Aberdeen University in Scotland, is Vice-President of the Australian Council of the Deans of Agriculture and Chair of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council’s Soil Project Reference Group.

After 12 years as a scientist in the Scottish Crop Research Institute, he became head of the Soil-Plant Dynamics Group. Before coming to Australia he was Director of the Scottish Informatics, Mathematics, Biology & Statistics group, and co-leader of the Terrestrial Carbon Initiative in the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society that pooled research across nine Scottish universities. He has published approximately 150 peer-reviewed papers, including papers in Science, Nature Reviews, Microbiology, and Trends in Ecology & Evolution.