Macquarie has world-leading research excellence in the agricultural sciences. This excellence is increasing in scale. 2018 is the first time Horticultural Production was assessed as a field, and the research is well above world standard. The largest activity relating to this discipline is centred in horticultural production, particularly in horticultural crop protection, oenology and viticulture.
Macquarie has strengths in crop and pasture production, fisheries sciences and horticultural production.
In fisheries science, research strengths include work related to shellfish, particularly oysters, and to endangered species such as sharks.
Funding sources include the Grain Foods Cooperative Research Centre, Bayer Crop Science, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, the NSW Department of Industry and Investment, Dairy Australia, the Horticulture Innovation Research and Development Scheme and the US Department of Agriculture.
In food science, the Macquarie-led ARC Training Centre for Molecular Technology in the Food Industry brings state-of-the-art molecular analytical technologies into the mainstream of the food supply chain. In horticulture, Macquarie has joined the multi-million-dollar industry and government SITplus consortium, established to address Australia’s Queensland fruit fly pest problem.
Macquarie has worked with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in NSW and the Australia Wine Research Institute (AWRI) in South Australia. By working with the DPI and AWRI, Macquarie can quickly translate basic and pure research into industry applications and better outcomes in the Australian wine industry.
Macquarie academics have spent time in residence at Bayer in Belgium. Macquarie’s engagement with Bayer has ensured a two-way flow of resources and expertise and has been critical to the translation of pure research into applied outcomes.
Building a disease-resilient more diverse oyster industry
In the early 2000s, the Sydney rock oyster industry was at risk of being wiped out by disease. Today, the industry has not only survived but grown and diversified. Macquarie, working with oyster farmers and the NSW DPI, has played a significant role in discovering how QX (Queensland Unknown) disease causes mass collapse and in improving selective breeding for disease resistance. Macquarie has also provided research-informed advice on the diversification of the NSW industry to include cultivation of Pacific oysters in NSW estuaries.
During the period 2011–16, total revenue derived from oyster sales had risen from $38 million to $44 million. This incorporates an increasing segment of Pacific oysters, almost $5 million, demonstrating the impact of Macquarie’s diversification advice.
Highly Significant contribution
3. Approach to impact
UNIVERSITY RESEARCH CENTRE
ARC Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation
Contact: Prof Phil Taylor