The University of Wollongong (UOW) awarded the degree in recognition for Professor Furbank’s outstanding scholarship in plant biology and his national and international service to sustainable agricultural development and innovation.
The official ceremony took place on 27 April at the autumn graduation celebrations. Read the University of Wollongong Media Release here.
Professor Furbank is the first person in his family to attend university. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Wollongong in 1979 and later graduated as a doctorate from The Australian National University (ANU).
“It makes me very proud being a graduate from this University,” he said during his graduation speech.
“My [Honours] degree at this University taught me how to think, how to look at data, form hypothesis and conclusions, introduce me to the scientific method which I have used every day in my life since then,” he said.
Professor Furbank is currently a Group Leader in the ANU research School of Biology, and the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational photosynthesis.
In 2009, he established the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre in CSIRO and led these national facilities until 2015. Professor Furbank’s significant contribution to the agricultural industry was recognised in 2014 when he received the CSIRO Plant Industry Leadership Award.
He is part of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, the International Wheat Yield Consortium and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Global Rice Initiative Science Partnership.
“I am constantly reminded of the importance of what I am doing and that it’s not just for the Australian farmer but for the many millions of people globally living on less than $1 a day,” he said.