PS Seminar Series (LEAPS Edition): Precision Regenerative Agriculture for Food, Ecosystem and Climate Security

Abstract - Global trends project a convergence of crisis in the next decades as demand for land exceeds planetary biocapacity. Agriculture depends on soil and water supplied by ecosystems which, in addition are still holding run away climate change. Regenerative agro-ecosystems grow food, are water resilient and build soil using perennial cropping, silvapasture and/or agroforestry approaches. When deployed at scale (1B hectares), they can stabilize the global climate.  I will outline a high tech (Genome2Phenome2Environment) experimental, modeling and social/economic research program to scale regenerative agriculture globally by 2030. Australia's diverse landscape with synergistic primary industry capacity (agriculture and mining) can contribute 10% of this solution valued at $1T over the decade. 

Biography -Justin Borevitz obtained his PhD in 2002 from the University of California at San Diego with Joanne Chory studying Natural Variation in Arabidopsis light response. He performed postdoctoral research with Joseph Ecker (2002-2004) at the Salk Institute studying genomic diversity in Arabidopsis using tiling arrays. From 2004 until 2012 he was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Dept of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. In 2012 he moved to the Australian National University and became full Professor in 2014. Research focuses on Genome Wide Association Studies of growth and developmental traits under simulated climates in plant models Arabidopsis and Brachypodium. Landscape genomics is being used in crops and Eucalyptus foundation species. The goal is to identify the genetic basis of climate adaptation to predict and select adaptive genotypes for changing and challenging growing conditions.