Dr Kai Chan, Group Leader and ARC Decra Fellow awarded 2023 Westpac Research Fellowship

22 March 2023

The Westpac Research Fellowship is a generous package that includes a bespoke leadership 360 program to enhance each researchers’ capabilities and foster cross-sector collaboration to continue driving innovation in Australia.

Investigating significant environmental challenges currently facing Australia is Dr Kai Xun Chan, a biology lecturer at the Australian National University. His Fellowship research seeks to solve how plants sense and respond to challenging environments to improve crop yields in the face of climate change.

“According to the CSIRO, we need to produce more food in the next thirty years than in the entire history of human civilisation. This is a huge challenge in itself but in Australia we also have to contend with drought and heat stress which decreases agricultural productivity by up to 80 per cent and costs the economy $1.1 billion annually,” said Chan.

“My research addresses the urgent need for transformative solutions in improving crop resilience, thus providing a step change in the race against time to achieve food security.”

Chan has already contributed to several fundamental advances in plant biology to date, however he believes with the support of the Westpac Research Fellowship he can continue to make significant contributions to the scientific community.

“Becoming a Westpac Research Fellow at this point in my career is transformational,” said Chan.

“I see tremendous opportunities to unlock key elements for an impactful research program: resources to concurrently drive fundamental discovery and real-world outcomes, professional development, and access to lifelong networks. I am excited and honoured to work alongside Australia's best and brightest.”

Westpac Research Fellows will create a better future for Australia.  

2023 Westpac Research Fellows driven to create a more sustainable future (westpacgroup.com.au)