To ensure the Agriculture Semester Program meets the needs of member universities and has rigorous academic standards, ACICIS has convened an Advisory Panel of academics from member universities.
The following academics are members of the ACICIS Agriculture Semester Program Advisory Panel. ACICIS would like to thank them for their contribution to the program.
Dr Tina Acuña
Dr Tina Acuña is a Senior Lecturer in Crop Science at the University of Tasmania. She teaches and undertakes research in high rainfall cropping systems in the Agriculture and Food Systems discipline at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture. Tina led the development of national Learning and Teaching Academic Standards for Agriculture in higher education (www.agltas.edu.au ). She is the Course Coordinator for the agriculture degrees offered at the University of Tasmania.
Dr Sarita Bennett
Dr Sarita Bennett is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environment and Agriculture at Curtin University. She teaches and undertakes research in the areas of pasture and crop ecology, genetics and agronomy (G by E by M); farming systems analysis; farming saline landscapes and the tolerance of pasture and crop species to the environmental constraints present in saline land; the agronomic development of alternative crops, new pasture species and perennial fodder shrubs. She is the unit coordinator for several units in the field of agricultural science.
Professor Margaret Britz
Professor Margaret Britz has had an extensive career in academia and government. After completing her undergraduate degree and PhD at Melbourne University in the 1970s, Professor Britz went onto a Fulbright Fellowship at MIT, before working as a Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO in the field of Chemical and Wood Technology. Her academic appointments include senior positions with the Victoria Institute of Technology, The University of Melbourne, The Queensland University of Technology and The University of Tasmania. Professor Britz’s research interests are in medical microbiology, human physiology and biochemistry, industrial microbiology, environmental technologies and microbiology, physiology and genetics of food-grade microbes and food microbiology and innovation policy. Professor Britz retired as Dean of the Science, Engineering and Technology at the University of Tasmania in 2015, but continues in an honorary academic position.
Associate Professor Christopher Ford
Associate Professor Christopher Ford is the Deputy Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide. Professor Ford’s first degree was from Hatfield Polytechnic, and in 1988 he received a DPhil from the University of Sussex for work in the biochemistry of nitrogen fixation. This led to a postdoctoral position at the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill, in London, where he worked on the replication of influenza viruses. Over the previous ten years his research has been focused on organics acid metabolism in plants, with a particular focus on grape berries. At the University of Adelaide, he has oversight of the three undergraduate and two postgraduate coursework programs offered by the School, and is the coordinator of the ‘Animal and Plant Biochemistry’ course.
Professor Tony O’Donnell
Professor Tony O’Donnell is Professor and Dean of Science at the University of Western Australia. He was born and educated in the UK, graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1976 and completed his PhD at the University of Bristol in 1980. He holds visiting positions at Kasetsart and Naresuan Universities in Thailand and with the Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Changsha, PRC. Before moving to Western Australia in August 2008, he worked at the University of Newcastle in the Northeast of England where he held senior research and administrative positions. Whilst at Newcastle he established and was the first Director of the multidisciplinary Institute for Research in Environment and Sustainability (IRES). In 2012 he was awarded a Visiting Professorship for Distinguished International Researchers by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Dr Graham O’Hara
Dr Graham O’Hara is a research and teaching academic at Murdoch University in Western Australia, currently Director of the Centre for Rhizobium Studies, and Academic Chair for Crops and Pasture Science undergraduate program. He has specialist expertise in soil microbiology, plant mineral nutrition and symbiotic nitrogen fixation, and currently coordinates units in agricultural science, microbiology and cell biology. After completing a BSc. (Hons) at the University of Western Australia and a PhD at U. Nottingham (UK) he did postdoctoral research at Waikato University, New Zealand before joining the Murdoch University Nitrogen Fixation Group. He was Director of the GRDC-funded National Rhizobium Program during 2006-2012, has conducted consultancies and workshops on agricultural microbiology in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Netherlands and Uruguay, and currently is an Associate Editor for Crop & Pasture Science. He has substantial experience in postgraduate training and education having been Dean of Graduate Studies at Murdoch University (2007-2013), and an invited member on AusAID postgraduate scholarship selection panels in South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. Since 2004 he has supervised 17 Honours, 2 Masters and 14 PhD students, and currently co-supervises 7 full-time PhD students.
Dr Risti Permani
Dr Risti Permani is a Lecturer in Global Food Studies at The University of Adelaide. Dr Permani completed her undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Science in Statistics, at Bogor Agricultural University in Indonesia. She later completed a Masters of Economics and her PhD in Economics at The University of Adelaide. Her areas of research specialisation include agricultural economics, including food security, self-sufficiency, cooperatives, farmer productivity and agricultural trade policy. Dr Permani has also undertaken extensive research in Indonesia, including in an academic capacity and as a consultant for organisations such as the Australian Department of Agriculture, The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the ASEAN Secretariat and the IMF.
Professor Iain Young
Professor Iain Young is the Head of The School of Environmental and Rural Science at the University of New England. Graduating from Aberdeen University with a degree and PhD in soil science, Iain has held several senior positions in the UK, including co-ordinating Terrestrial Carbon research for Scottish Universities, Director of Sensation Science Centre, and was a committee member of the main Agriculture and Food Funding Councils. Until recently he was the President of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture. He currently serves on the National RD&E Committee for Primary Industries and the National Corporate Soil Assessment Program, and is a Board member for Soils for Life. Iain is the Chair of the National Soils Strategic Implementation Committee and a member of the National Primary Industry Research and Innovation Committee.