If only scientists could better communicate their work. If only students could better understand the processes of science, and could see the diversity of science careers.

Sound familiar? Last year, our Australian pilot of I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! supported by DIISRTE and DFEEST (SA) engaged 15 scientists with over 900 secondary school students across the country. At the end of two weeks of online madness, Upulie Divisekera, Kate Patterson and Aimee Parker were crowned zone winners as voted by students and everyone had learnt a lot about science and science communication in the process.

We have now opened registrations for scientists ( http://imascientist.org.au/scientists/) and schools/teachers ( http://imascientist.org.au/scientists/) for our next event which will take place from 14th – 25th May.
For further information about the event or sponsorship, contact Kristin Alford at admin@imascientist.org.au.


Iraqi students studying their masters in water agriculture in Adelaide are now heading home with a new set of skills to help in the rebuilding of Iraq.
AusAID sponsored 100 Iraqi students in a $16 million dollar education programme, 60 students have studied at the University of Adelaide. *Riverland Today’s Jessica Swann spoke with Dr Amanda Able Deputy Head of School Learning and Teaching, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.  Listen to the <Interview with Dr Amanda Able on AusAID >.

*Riverland Today, ABC Riverland and Mallee 1062 AM on Monday 12/12/2011.

AWARDED: Winemaker of the Year Dan Swincer (right) with Brett McKinnon, managing director of Orlando Wines.

Waite graduate, Dan Swincer won the ‘2011 Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year’.

This is now two years in a row that a graduates from the University of Adelaide has won.

To read further about Dan and his award to go Barossa & Light Herald’s article:  ‘Dan’s Barossa wine appreciation’ .

The 15th Australian Barley Technical Symposium (ABTS) was recently held in Adelaide 18-21 September. The conference was well attended with over 170 delegates and offered a valuable opportunity for delegates to hear the latest advances in barley genetics, genomics, plant physiology, quality and agronomy.

Two major awards and two poster prizes were presented to members of the SAFW and co-location partners.

Congratulations to Dr Suong Cu (The University of Adelaide) who was awarded the ABTS Inc Incentive Award ($5,500) for her presentation titled: ‘Characterisation of Genetic Variation for Alpha-amylase Alleles in Barley’.

The Paul Johnston Trust Award ($5,500) was given to Kenton Porker (SARDI) for his presentation titled ‘Agronomic (row space, seed depth, seed quality) and Environmental Factors Change Herbicide Safety of New Barley Varieties in the Mallee’.

Both awards are given to support international conference attendance and associated travel and to further career development.

Poster prizes were also awarded to Juanita Lauer-Smith (The University of Adelaide) and Dr Joanne Tilbrook (ACPFG). Juanita is currently undertaking Honours (Supervisors: Jason Eglinton, Sophie Roumeliotis, Suong Cu). Her poster was titled ‘Improving Barley Beta-glucanase in Malt and Brewing Quality’. Joanne presented a poster titled ‘Development of High Salinity Tolerant Barley’.

Wan Mohd Aizat (Supervisor: Dr Amanda Able) was awarded the Best Poster at the recent ‘Horticulture for the Future’ Conference – a joint conference of the Australasian Postharvest Horticulture Committee (APHC), the Australian Society for Horticultural Science (AuSHS) and the New Zealand Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture Science (NZIAHS).

His poster was entitled ‘ Understanding the Physiological Mechanisms of Ripening in Capsicum (Capsicum annum)’. Wan is co-supervised by Jason Able and James Stangoulis.

Golden Grains Pavillion

The Golden Grains pavilion at the the Royal Adelaide Show is hosting the “Ground 2 Grub” (G2G) exhibit. This exhibit showcases the South Australia’s award winning grains plus contains interactive science-based displays focusing on plant breeding for quality grain, pests in the paddock, soil health and precision agriculture.
Show goers in this pavilion get to touch, see, smell and understand the process of growing quality grain from the scientists in the lab to the farmer in the field to the food on the plate. The G2G exhibit was developed over two years with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society’s Grain and Fodder Committee.   This year the School of Agriculture, Food & Wine is presenting a number of hands on activities as part of G2G. These include:
  • See and taste barley exhibit: showcasing what foods barley is used in
  • Plant and soil health: come and test soil pH and see how salt effects plant growth
  • Just what does gluten do in bread?
A crucial aspect of the display presents the myriad of career opportunities for Agricultural Science Graduates.  The Show runs from 2 Sept-10 Sept 2011.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Petra Marschner, who has seen the third edition of Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants through to publication!


From the Elsevier website:

“Respected and known worldwide in the field for his research in plant nutrition, Dr. Horst Marschner authored two editions of Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants. His research greatly advanced the understanding of rhizosphere processes and trace element uptake by plants and he published extensively in a variety of plant nutrition areas. While doing agricultural research in West Africa in 1996, Dr. Marschner contracted malaria and passed away, and until now this legacy title went unrevised. Despite the passage of time, it remains the definitive reference on plant mineral nutrition.


“Great progress has been made in the understanding of various aspects of plant nutrition and in recent years the view on the mode of action of mineral nutrients in plant metabolism and yield formation has shifted. Nutrients are not only viewed as constituents of plant compounds (constructing material), enzymes and electron transport chains but also as signals regulating plant metabolism via complex signal transduction networks. In these networks, phytohormones also play an important role. Principles of the mode of action of phytohormones and examples of the interaction of hormones and mineral nutrients on source and sink strength and yield formation are discussed in this edition. Phytohormones have a role as chemical messengers (internal signals) to coordinate development and responses to environmental stimuli at the whole plant level. These and many other molecular developments are covered in the long-awaited new edition.

“Esteemed plant nutrition expert and Horst Marschner’s daughter, Dr. Petra Marschner, together with a team of key co-authors who worked with Horst Marschner on his research, now present a thoroughly updated and revised third edition of Marschner’s Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants, maintaining its value for plant nutritionists worldwide.”