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

The Food Futures research group aims to inform practice change and policy for improved yield, quality, sustainability and resilience of our food production systems. Production into the future must double to feed exponential population growth and higher demand for fruit, nut, 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, fertiliser and water requirements.

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

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
  • Development of canarium industry in PNG
  • Enhancing value added products and environmental benefits from agroforestry systems in the Pacific
  • Increasing yield and quality in tropical horticulture
  • Stingless bees as effective managed pollinators
  • 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
  • Mine site rehabilitation
  • Landscape derived environmental services
  • Seed science and cryopreservation
  • Functional foods, medicinal plants and sustainable medicines
  • Agriculture, food production and food security
  • Improving silvicultural and economic outcomes for community timber plantations in Solomon Islands by interplanting with Flueggea flexuosa and other Pacific agroforestry species

Group coordinator

Professor Helen Wallace

Areas of expertise:

  • Food security
  • Fruit and nut production
  • Bee behaviour
  • Plant breeding
  • Sub-tropical and tropical forestry

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.

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

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