Plant power: the future of sustainability

A scientist examines plant samples.

We know plants are powerful, but are they powerful enough to be the future of sustainability solutions?

Imagine a future where your house is built from cannabis, your car is manufactured using chia components, and your fuel is extracted from the succulent used to make tequila.

Industrial hemp is well-known as a plant-based sustainability solution, but now is the time to learn about possible future uses for agave, plantago, sorghum, and sage.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide are investigating a range of novel functions for these crops that cope better in hot climates, use less water, and grow faster. These crops could drive a booming biofuel industry in Australia.

In the Research Tuesday lecture, Plant Power, three University of Adelaide experts will explain the possible uses for plants and their role in a sustainable future.

While Professor Rachel Burton will argue Australia could become entirely self (and seed) sufficient, thanks to bioproducts and insects, Professors Kerry Wilkinson and Rachel Ankeny will discuss consumer reception to these novel products, and strategies for public engagement in this space.

Those who attend, both in person and online will hear what the University’s leading plant scientists foresee for the future.

WHAT: Research Tuesdays: Plant Power

WHEN AND WHERE: Tuesday, 14 June 2022, 5.30pm – 6:30pm

WHERE: The Braggs Building, North Terrace campus, the University of Adelaide.

COST: Free (registration for webinar and in-person attendance).


PARTICIPATE ONLINE: Webinar Registration - Zoom

REGISTER: Research Tuesdays: Plant Power, Tuesday 14 June 2022 at 5:30 PM | Eventbrite


Professor Rachel Burton is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide. She has been Chief Investigator on two Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence – Plant Cell Walls, and Plant Energy Biology, and was named a Superstar of STEM by Science and Technology Australia in 2017.

Professor Kerry Wilkinson from the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine is a leader in sensory evaluation, food science and wine chemistry. She received a South Australian Young Tall Poppy Science Award in 2012, and 2006 Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Professor Rachel Ankeny is leader of the Food Values Research Group at the University of Adelaide, president-elect of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB) and a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Tagged in Research Tuesday, research, plants, featured story, sustainability, climate change