Peter Waite Lecture highlights cutting-edge science
Thursday, 17 February 2011
One of the world's leading agricultural scientists, Professor Geoff Fincher, will deliver the inaugural Peter Waite Lecture at the University of Adelaide's Waite Campus on Monday 21 February.
Named in honour of the pastoralist and benefactor who donated his Urrbrae estate to the University of Adelaide for the study of agriculture, this free public lecture highlights achievements by leaders in the field of agricultural research.
Geoff Fincher is Professor of Plant Science at the University of Adelaide and a former Director of the Waite Campus (2003-2010). With a research career spanning more than 37 years, Professor Fincher has made a significant contribution to the University, the Waite Campus and Australian science.
Over the past six years alone he has helped to establish more than $100 million in state-of-the-art research facilities at the campus, such as the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) and the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (Plant Accelerator). He is also the leader of a new CSIRO Food Futures Flagship Cluster on High-Fibre Grains.
Last year Professor Fincher was announced as the Director of the new ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, a $31 million biotechnology research centre headquartered at the Waite Campus.
His lecture will explore the latest developments in research in this area, such as using unique properties in plant cell walls to improve human health, as superior raw materials for industry, and as sources of renewable transport fuels.
Professor Fincher says science is more important than ever to the needs of agriculture in Australia and overseas.
"The world will need to find ways of feeding nine billion people by 2050, which is an enormous issue in the face of limited water and land resources, salinity and climate change," he says.
"We must also remember the increasing importance of human health in both developed and developing countries and the imperative to come up with renewable transport fuels in the immediate future.
"Vigorous and clearly focused scientific research, linked with highly efficient delivery systems, will be a key factor in meeting these multiple challenges and the work to be undertaken in the new ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls will address many of these problems."
WHAT: The inaugural Peter Waite Lecture: Polysaccharide Structure in Cell Walls of the Grasses: From Human Health to Renewable Transport Fuels by Professor Geoff Fincher
WHERE: McLeod Lecture Theatre, Charles Hawker Building, Waite Campus, University of Adelaide
WHEN: 4.00pm Monday 21 February
Please note: a podcast of the inaugural Peter Waite Lecture will be available here.
Director, ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls
The University of Adelaide
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Mr David Ellis
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The University of Adelaide
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