Peter Langridge is Scientist of the Year

Professor Peter Langridge, 2011 SA Scientist of the Year.
Photo courtesy of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG).

Professor Peter Langridge, 2011 SA Scientist of the Year.
Photo courtesy of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG).

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Friday, 4 November 2011

Leading University of Adelaide plant scientist Professor Peter Langridge has been named South Australia's 2011 Scientist of the Year.

Professor Langridge, who is CEO of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) at the Waite Campus, won the award in recognition of his significant contribution to improving agricultural products in South Australia over a 30-year career.

Peter Langridge first joined the University of Adelaide as a lecturer in agricultural biochemistry in 1984. He became Professor in Plant Science at the University of Adelaide in 1998, and CEO of the ACPFG, which he helped to establish, in 2003.

Professor Langridge pioneered the use of molecular markers in cereal breeding. His research interests are in the area of deploying genetic technologies and new strategies to improve the breeding of cereal crops. He has recently chaired a Federal Government committee examining issues of food security.

His award - part of the SA Science Excellence Awards - was presented at a gala dinner last night by the Science and Information Economy Minister, the Hon. Tom Kenyon.

Mr Kenyon said the ACPFG "plays a key role in driving innovative applications of plant genomics technology critical to ensuring global food security".

"Australia is regarded as the world leader in this technology because of his [Professor Langridge's] work and he's an outstanding winner of South Australia's highest award for science," Mr Kenyon said.

"He provides support and advice to many programs in the developed and developing world aimed at improving the speed and sophistication of cereal breeding programs."

The awards recognise and reward excellence in science and acknowledge commitment and skills in raising public awareness of science.

As Scientist of the Year, Professor Langridge receives $20,000.

Professor Langridge said: "I am very honoured to be recognised in this manner; science is a fabulous career. We are now making a significant contribution to cereal science internationally and this has been made possible by the great support we have had from our funders. It was also fabulous to see the younger scientists recognised last night, they were a very impressive group."

A further eight Science Excellence awards - worth $10,000 each - were presented last night. These included two other University of Adelaide winners:

PhD Research Excellence - Health and Medical Sciences
Dr Natasha Rogers (University of Adelaide 2011 PhD graduate and Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh)

PhD Research Excellence - Physical Sciences/Mathematics/Engineering
Dr Stephen Warren-Smith (ARC Super Science Fellow, Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) and School of Chemistry and Physics, University of Adelaide)

"These awards celebrate the successes of our scientists, showcasing their world-class work and highlighting the contributions they make to science and research, locally, nationally and internationally," Mr Kenyon said.

"All the winners are to be commended for their commitment to and excellence in science."


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