Addressing the urgent global need to access sufficient, healthy and preferred food

The Food Futures research group aims to inform policy and practice change for improved sustainability and resilience of our food production systems. Production into the future must double in order to feed the exponential growth in population and higher demand for cereal, dairy and meat-derived calories. Simultaneously, increased production must be achieved with improved sustainability and reduction of the environmental footprint, caused by cultivation practices, energy and water requirements.

Our broad research capability spans from fundamental research in chemical and biomolecular systems, to native and forest ecosystems, as well as agricultural and horticultural production systems—all requiring evidence-based strategies for sustainable management and optimised productivity.

Research themes

  • Soil security and bio-pollutant management
  • Sustainable food production through novel tools and practices
  • Drivers and mitigators of food insecurity
  • Development of enabling and platform technologies

Current research

  • Sustainable bio-production
  • Environmental biogeochemical cycles
  • Carbon sequestration in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Tree ring techniques to quantify long-term tree water use efficiency and growth in response to climate change
  • Climate change impacts on biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial ecosystems
  • Control and management of invasive weeds and plants
  • Catchment monitoring, management and modelling
  • Ecosystem response and adaptation to global changes
  • Soil erosion and conservation
  • Management of pest fruit flies
  • Forest ecosystem management
  • Sustainable use of land resources

Group coordinator

Associate Professor Rebecca Ford

Areas of expertise:

  • Food security
  • Food sustainability
  • Security of plant-derived food production systems

Group expertise

Our members have expertise in a variety of areas, including:

  • Soil science
  • Agricultural, horticultural and forestry sciences
  • Sensor technologies
  • Bio-pollutant management and mitigation
  • Molecular breeding technologies
  • Bioinformatics
  • Probe platform technologies
  • Surveillance and monitoring
  • Catchment management
  • Nutrient use efficiency
  • Cycling and mathematic modelling
  • Agribusiness
  • Whole-of-market chain analysis.

Group members

Partners and collaborators

Global partnerships are vital in achieving our vision of creating change towards sustainable futures. Our partners and collaborators include:

  • Duke University, USA
  • University of Goettingen, Germany
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Lincoln University, New Zealand
  • Arizona State University, USA
  • Smithsonian Tropical research Institute, Panama
  • Government of Solomon Islands (Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture)
  • SIARTC (Solomon Islands Association of Rural Training Centres), Solomon Islands
  • KFPL (Kolombangara Forest Products Limited), Solomon Islands
  • National Autonomous University of Mexico, Institute of Geology
  • SEQ Catchments
  • University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland
  • Trueman
  • Australian Macadamia Society
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Western Sydney
  • Private Forestry Services Queensland

Get in touch

Discover more about working, studying or collaborating with us