Speaker: Dr Tanya Latty, School of Life and Environmental Science, Sydney Institute of Agriculture, University of Sydney
All living organisms need to process information; this basic ability allows them to find and exploit the resources necessary for life. But what happens when information processing needs to be coordinated between many thousands – or even millions- of individuals?
Marine phytoplankton are responsible for over 45% of annual global net primary production. Ocean warming is expected to drive massive reorganisation of phytoplankton communities, resulting in pole-ward range shifts and sharp declines in species diversity, particularly in the tropics.
Food security and scarcity of fresh water are major and ever more pressing challenges facing us. In that context, more versatile and better tailored plant varieties with improved water use efficiency and drought resistance, are required.
Animal pollination plays a critical role in seed set and maintenance of genetic diversity for most plant species. When these plants are co-opted into agriculture this becomes just one of many factors that influence productivity, but one that is usually paid scant attention.
Speaker: Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ
The Pacific region is an ideal place for studying human evolution, variation, and adaptation. It has a complex history of both ancient and recent human migrations, variable levels of population interactions and a range of potential source populations.
Root-knot nematodes (RKNs) are microscopic roundworms that infect the root of more than 2000 plant species, including major crop species. RKN infection results in general nutritional deficiency symptoms that resulted in loss in crop yield and productivity.