The Loyd T Evans Growth Facility (PGF) on the Philippine campus of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) was officially opened on 21 January 2016. The USD $10 million facility, donated by the Australian government to IRRI through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), manifests IRRI’s commitment to better understand the effects of climate change on plant growth in the ongoing effort to achieve food and nutrition security for future generations across the globe.
John Evans, Murray Badger, Spencer Whitney and Florence Danila from the ANU Research School of Biology (RSB) attended the opening. The building was named after John's father, who served on the Board of IRRI and whose advocacy had resulted in a phytotron being donated to IRRI previously. John Evans, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a plant scientist, spoke on behalf of the Evans family. “It is a great honor and a real personal thrill to be invited to the opening of this facility,” he said. “When my father was a board member here at IRRI, he encouraged evidence- and research-based decision making rather than gut feelings passed on in a traditional way.”
The opening took place during IRRI Science week and the four RSB scientists contributed talks to the IRRI-Australia symposium. RSB has close ties with IRRI as it is part of the Bill and Melinda Gates C4 rice consortium that involves Susanne von Caemmerer, Robert Furbank and Florence Danila, as well as Paul Quick (IRRI) being part of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis.