Research themes

The Institute’s activities and initiatives are structured around six interdisciplinary themes, which facilitate research, national and international links and partnerships, education and training, outreach and technology transfer.

Field of golden wheat ears

Image supplied by Peter Maloney

Sustainable Cropping Systems

This theme focuses on genetic and agronomic manipulation of root architecture and function, including rhizosphere biology, pushing into the next frontier in crop production. Research in this theme takes advantage of UWA’s significant strength in root processes and the interaction of roots and soil in abiotic and biotic environments.

Theme Leaders

Sheep grazing on paddock

Sustainable Animal Production Systems

This theme focuses on the contribution of livestock industries to solving global food supply. To ensure grazing systems are productive, profitable and sustainable, we need a multidisciplinary approach to optimise the interactions among genotype, environment and management. Our research targets ‘Clean, Green and Ethical’ management in response to growing consumer demand. The IOA actively researches the nexus of cropping and pasture animal systems as well as extensive rangeland systems.

Theme Leaders


River with vegetation along its banks

Image supplied by Jeanette Jensen

Water for Food Production

To meet the food needs of an increasing world population, we need to improve the efficiency of irrigated agriculture and make better use of rainfall and finite water resources. The challenge is to produce more food with less water, and to reduce the negative impacts of food production on water quality and environmental water resources. This theme focuses on modelling, experimentation and field observations, postgraduate training and technology exchange through industry collaboration and engagement.

Theme Leaders

Ripe apples hanging on tree

Food Quality and Human Health

This theme focuses on the development of a collection of healthy functional foods and ingredients, as well as improved processes for their production and manufacture. The research will deliver scientifically validated evidence for the promotion of new foods, as well as significant added value to agricultural industries.

Theme Leaders

Weed removal machine

Image source: Anvil Media and GRDC

Engineering for Agriculture

Arguably, the next big revolution in agriculture will come from engineering solutions for sustainable growth in net farm-yield, reduction of wastage, and minimisation of environmental impact. This research theme presents extensive opportunities for collaboration between farmers and machinery manufacturers to bring about commercial innovation.

Theme Leaders

Shrimp fishing in Indonesia

Image supplied by Maharani Yulisti

Agribusiness Ecosystems

This theme addresses the issues related to the governance of agribusiness firms along the food value chain. It focuses on changes in consumer behaviour caused by changes in dietary and consumption patterns, adoption of innovations, production and financial risk management, farm productivity and profitability, global food security and nutrition, commodity marketing, new venture creation and governance structure of co-operative enterprises.

Theme Leaders

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