Our vision is to innovate and communicate by carrying out internationally competitive research that adds value to the conservation, cultivation and utilisation of plants and other natural products, and so underpins resilient regional development.
We will establish Southern Cross University as a regional hub to catalyse a knowledge-driven renaissance in primary plant production. In particular we will play a key role in harvesting knowledge of how genetic and environmental factors contribute to end-use properties of crops and added-value natural products.
Southern Cross Plant Science achieves high international academic standards in research, with recent refereed publications in journals including: Science, PNAS (USA), Nature Genetics, Plant Physiology, Plant Biotechnology Journal, Plant Journal, Genetics, New Phytologist, Food Chemistry, J. Cereal Science, J. Medical Plant Research.
Our research is focused on the genetics, genomics and phytochemistry underpinning selection, cultivation and utilisation of plants. We have two major themes focused on how plants interact and adapt to the environment, and natural product composition and quality.
We address key strategic research drivers of food security, human health and nutrition, climate change, regional sustainability and native plant conservation.
Targets and commodities include nutritional food, bioactives and other high value natural products from oilseed, grain, horticultural and plantation crops, forestry, herbal medicinal products, functional foods, health products and natural pesticides. We work with others at Southern Cross University and elsewhere to understand and develop natural products from the marine environment, including molluscs and algae.
Agriculture - crop plants and end-use (arable, forest, and horticultural):
- Genetics, genomics --> Pre-breeding
- Genotype x Environment interactions --> Pre-breeding, agronomy
- Biochemistry, physical attributes --> Plant raw materials and end use quality
- Agricultural soils --> Agronomy.
Regional industry partners (for pre-breeding, agronomy, raw material and end-use quality):
- Added value to end products --> increase profitability + new markets
- Decreased agricultural inputs --> fertiliser, water, labour
- Reduced waste in supply chain --> economic and environmental sustainability.