7 June 2012

A leading UQ plant scientist has been awarded one of Australia’s most prestigious agriculture awards, the Farrer Memorial Medal.

The Farrer Memorial Trust has announced that Professor Graeme Hammer, Director of the Centre for Plant Science at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), has been selected for the 2012 Farrer Memorial Medal.

The medal was established in 1911 in memory of research done by William James Farrer (1845 – 1906) who introduced Federation wheat, a development which greatly advanced the wheat industry.

Farrer Memorial Trust Chairman, Dr Richard Sheldrake, said the medal was awarded annually to a person who had provided distinguished service in agriculture science in the areas of research, education, extension or administration.

“Professor Hammer has been recognised internationally for his pioneering work in crop modelling in plant breeding and crop improvement in Australia,” he said.

“His most significant research contribution includes the design and development of sophisticated mathematical models that examine the physiology and genetics of complex adaptive traits in field crops, with a focus on improving water productivity in cereals.

“Crucially his research underpins development of improved models that enable simulation of consequences of genetic and management manipulation of crops in specific target environments.

“His impressive qualifications include Doctor of Philosophy from Kansas State University in crop physiology and modelling, Master of Science, University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Arts, University of Queensland, and a Bachelor of Science Forestry (Honours) at the University of Melbourne.”

Professor Hammer’s Australian crop modelling research started in the 1980s.

He was instrumental in leading the Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit, a joint research venture of CSIRO, the Queensland Government and The University of Queensland.

“His extensive research into crop adaptation and exploring avenues to manage climate risks has been published in international journals and has generated considerable impact on plant breeding and agricultural practice,” Dr Sheldrake said.

Professor Hammer has co-edited two influential agricultural science books, entered the Thompson ISI most highly cited authors in agricultural science and is keenly involved in mentoring post graduate students.

The 2012 Farrer Memorial Medal will be presented on 10 July at the QAAFI Annual Research meeting.
Media: QAAFI Communications
Mobile: 0417 425 510
(Hi-res photos of Professor Hammer available upon request.)