The UWA Institute of Agriculture

Research Themes

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Recognising industry opportunities and the existing expertise within the University, The UWA Institute of Agriculture supports members to further develop research themes in the following areas:

Research Themes

Crops, Roots & Rhizosphere
This theme focuses on manipulation of root architecture and function, including rhizosphere biology, which provides the next frontiers in advancing crop production by both genetic and agronomic means. UWA has significant strength in root processes and the interaction of roots and soil abiotic and biotic environments, to enhance crop performance.

Theme Leaders: Dr Louise Barton, Assoc/Prof Megan Ryan

Sustainable grazing systems

This theme focuses on the contribution of livestock industries to solving global food supply. Grazing systems need to be productive, profitable and sustainable, which requires a multidisciplinary approach to ensure the interaction between genotype, environment and management are optimised. 

Theme Leaders:   Prof William Erskine, Prof Graeme Martin 

Water for food production

This theme focuses on meeting the food needs of an increasing world population which requires improved efficiencies in irrigated agriculture and better use of rainfall and finite water resources. The focus is on water balance and irrigation modelling, and technology exchange through industry collaboration and engagement. 

Theme Leaders: Professor Keith Smettem, Assoc/Prof Matt Hipsey

Food and human health


This theme focuses on the development of a collection of healthy functional foods and ingredients, as well as improved processes for their production and manufacture. The research will deliver scientifically validated evidence for the promotion of new foods, as well as significant added value to agricultural industries.

Theme Leaders:  Res/Prof Jonathan HodgsonDr Mick Considine 

Agribusiness ecosystems
This theme focuses on addressing issues related to the governance of agribusiness firms along the food value chain with a focus on changing consumer behaviour due to changes in dietary and consumption patterns. adoption of new innovations, production and financial risk management, farm productivity and profitability, global food security and nutrition, commodity marketing, new venture creation and governance structure of co-operative enterprises.
Theme Leaders:  W/Prof Tim Mazzarol, Asst/Prof Amin Mugera