Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN

 
Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN
university of melbourne magazine 2019

            Fighting to
          feed the world
       University researchers are taking the lead
            in the quest for food security
Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN
2   2019 E D I T I O N                                                                                                                                                      CONTENTS            3

                                                                                                                                                                                             alumni.unimelb.edu.au
                                                                                                                                                  INTERVIEW
                                                                                                                                                  The voice
                                                                                                                                                  for a new era
                                                                                                                                                  Vice-Chancellor
                                                                                                                                                  Duncan Maskell’s vision
                                                                                                                                                  for the University.              PAGE 7

                                                                                                                                                                                             2019
    COVER IMAGE: CHRIS HOPKINS

    WE WELCOME                                                                                                                                    MUSIC THERAPY
    YOUR FEEDBACK
    Email your comments to:                                                                                                                       Striking a chord
    alumni-office@unimelb.edu.au                                                                                                                  How music is connecting
    Write to us at: The Advancement Office,
    The University of Melbourne,                                                                                                                  dementia patients
    Victoria 3010, Australia                                                                                                                      and their carers.      PAGE 10
    Call us on: +61 3 8344 1751
    For more exclusive content visit:
    unimelb.edu.au/3010                                                                                                                           COVER STORY
    EDITORIAL                                                                                                                                     Securing the
    ADVISORY GROUP
    DR JAMES ALLAN, DIRECTOR, ALUMNI
                                                                                                                                                  world’s food
    AND STAKEHOLDER RELATIONS                                                                                                                     University researchers
    DORON BEN-MEIR, VICE-PRINCIPAL
    FOR ENTERPRISE
                                                                                                                                                  are fortifying global
    ZOE FURMAN (BA(Hons) 1991), UNIVERSITY                                                                                                        food sources.                  PAGE 12
    OF MELBOURNE ALUMNI COUNCIL
    DR JENNIFER HENRY (BAgr(Hons) 1990,                                                                                                           INTELLIGENCE
    PhD 2001), SENIOR MANAGER, GIFTS IN WILLS                                                                                                     News from around the University       4
    PETER KRONBORG (MBA 1979), UNIVERSITY

                                                    New life for
    OF MELBOURNE ALUMNI COUNCIL                                                                                                                   KNOWLEDGE BANK
    MAXINE McKEW, HONORARY ENTERPRISE                                                                               FROM TOP:
                                                                                                                                                  The marvel that is
    PROFESSOR AT THE MELBOURNE GRADUATE                                                                             Tom Nicholson,
    SCHOOL OF EDUCATION                                                                                             Towards a glass
                                                                                                                                                  the Minerva Access                   18
    DR DAMIAN POWELL (BA(Hons) 1989),                                                                               monument, 2017–19             IT TAKES TWO
    PRINCIPAL, JANET CLARKE HALL                                                                                    (installation
    CAROLINE STRONG, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR,                                                                            photograph).
                                                                                                                                                  The King twins: global achievers     20

                                                     Old Quad
    BRAND VISION AND DELIVERY                                                                                       Stained‑glass lead            A VERY BAILLIEU BIRTHDAY
                                                                                                                    and steel frame in two
    EDITORIAL TEAM                                                                                                  screens, each containing
                                                                                                                                                  At 60, the University’s premier
    MANAGING EDITOR NADA JOLIC                                                                                      20 lancets. Realised          library just keeps getting better    22
    EDITOR SIMON MANN/MEDIAXPRESS                                                                                   through Monash Art
    DESIGNER BILL FARR/MEDIAXPRESS                                                                                                                FIVE QUESTIONS
                                                                                                                    Projects, Melbourne;
                                                                                                                    Geoffrey Wallace Stained      Archaeologist Dr Brent Davis on
                                                                                                                    Glass, Melbourne; and         decoding the Everest of scripts24
                                                                                                                    courtesy of Milani Gallery,
                                                             With its iconic archways and bold architectural        Brisbane.                     LIVING BEQUESTS
    This Publication is produced on a Forest            presence, the Old Quad is the foundational building         PICTURE:                      Sharing the beauty
                                                                                                                    CHRISTIAN CAPURRO.
    Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper
    that is produced at an FSC certified paper
                                                      of the Parkville campus and endures as the strongest          © TOM NICHOLSON               of maths by supporting
    mill under an ISO14001 environmental                      connection to the University’s fledgling years.                                     future teachers in the field         26
    management system, using elemental                                                                              Installation
    chlorine-free whitening process.                                                                                photography of                OPEN (ART) HOUSES
    Printed by Immij Pty Ltd, an ISO14001
                                                           An extensive restoration, completed in 2019, has         Ancestral Memory              Melbourne house museums,
    Environmental management system and                 returned the 160-year-old North Wing and areas of           exhibition, 2019.
                                                                                                                                                  both creations of alumni,
    ISO9001 Quality management system
    certified printer with FSC (Chain of Custody)        the East Wing to their original design, allowing for       PICTURE:
                                                                                                                    CHRISTIAN CAPURRO             are drawing global acclaim           28
    and Sustainable Green Print Level 3
    certifications, printed on an environmentally
                                                          the display of items from the University’s cultural       IMAGE © THE ARTISTS
                                                                                                                                                  ALUMNI PROFILES
    friendly LED printing press using vegetable               collections, including a dedicated temporary          The Old Quad’s
                                                                                                                                                  How alumni are making their mark     31
    based inks.                                                                                                     iconic exterior.
    This publication is fully recyclable –
                                                                   exhibition space in the Treasury Gallery.
    please dispose of it wisely.                                                                                                                  MILESTONES
    Views expressed by contributors are not                   The heritage-listed architectural features and                                      Appointments, honours
    necessarily endorsed by the University.              historic furniture demonstrate the early history of                                      and accolades                        36
    ISSN: 2205-1112
    Produced for the University of Melbourne by              this original University of Melbourne building.                                      THE LAST WORD
    MEDIAXPRESS mediaxpress.net.au
    CRICOS Provider Number 00116K
                                                                                                                                                  Marathon man                         38
                                                                                    about.unimelb.edu.au/old-quad
Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN
4     I N T E L L I G E NC E                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I N T E L L I G E NC E       5

New buildings around campus                                                                                                     IN BRIEF
                                                                                                                                                               FUNDING
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 PARTNERSHIPS
IAN POTTER SOUTHBANK CENTRE                                                                                                   DNA                                                                                                                                                STRENGTHENING
                                                                                                                             DETECTIVES:                       $4 million for                                                                                                    RELATIONSHIPS
                                                                                                                             ON THE TRAIL                                                                                                                                        IN INDIA AND INDONESIA
                                                                                                                            OF THE PLATYPUS                    Science Gallery                                                                                                   n The University has recently launched
                                                                                                                           n University of Melbourne
                                                                                                                       researchers in collaboration with
                                                                                                                                                               Melbourne                                                                                                         two five-year international strategies to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 build closer relationships with India and
                                                                                                                 San Diego Zoo Global, Cesar and several                                                                                                                         Indonesia.
                                                                                                                 state agencies are using traces of                                                                                                                                  Engaging with India (2020–2024)
                                                                                                                 platypus DNA left in the wild to track                                                                                                                          and Engaging with Indonesia (2020–
                                                                                                                 down dwindling populations.                                                                                                                                     2024) reflect on strong existing
                                                                                                                     Advances in genetic sequencing                                                                                                                              relationships with both nations and
                                                                                                                 technologies are allowing the                                                                                                                                   outline further commitments to building
                                                                                                                 researchers to detect animals in their                                                                                                                          a shared future.
                                                                                                                 habitats without direct encounters.                                                                                                                                 Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan
                                                                                                                 The technology has been used to launch                                                                                                                          Maskell said the launch of the new
                                                                                                                 the largest investigation of platypus                                                                                                                           India strategy would “strengthen our
                                                                                                                 populations ever undertaken.                                                                                                                                    longstanding ties and accelerate
                                                                                                                     Considering the difficulty of            Science Gallery Melbourne has received a generous donation of $4 million from                                      collaborations with our Indian partners
                                                                                                                 detecting platypuses in the wild,            Ruth and Peter McMullin (BCom, LLB 1974) ahead of its opening in late 2020.                                        to address shared social and scientific
                                                                                                                 exacerbated by population decline and            Established as a space where science and art collide, Science Gallery creates                                  global challenges”.
                                                                                                                 localised extinctions in some areas, the     unique and interactive exhibitions with the goal of nurturing young people’s               FUN FACTS:                  Similarly, the strategy in Indonesia
                                                                                                                 research is providing a more affordable      interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics).                 n A microscope          aims to strengthen existing partnerships.
                                                                                                                 and logistically viable way to shed light        Announcing their gift during National Science Week, the McMullins said                 image of horse              “Our academics are working with
                                                                                                                 on their true conservation status and        they believed the gallery had the potential to make a genuine impact on young              cartilage has been      Indonesian scholars on research with an
                                                                                                                 the impacts of major threats to the          people’s lives.                                                                            used in the building    impact on the priorities and needs of
                                                                                                                 platypus on a large scale.                       “By placing young people at the centre of programs, the Gallery genuinely              facade as part of the   Indonesian development and on the
The heart of the University’s Southbank campus,             “Currently, the Faculty has more than 40,000             The project will also enable analysis    reflects their voices and concerns,” they said.                                            facility’s innovative   regional challenges that Indonesians and
the Ian Potter Southbank Centre, officially opened      campus visitors a year and hosts more than 220           of why populations have declined in              “The Gallery provides experiences that are transformative at a crucial time in         design.                 Australians share,” Professor Maskell said.
in June 2019.                                           events, which will now be expanded with a public         areas where they once thrived,               a young person’s life. We believe Science Gallery will have a lasting impact on the        n The complex has           Both strategies, launched in August
    The $109 million conservatorium is filled with      program of events at the Conservatorium that             informing actions to conserve this           future and consider this gift an investment in Australia’s next generation of scientific   a solar power system    2019, have been welcomed by Australian
state-of-the-art, world-class equipment. It can         will enrich Melbourne’s thriving cultural scene.”        unique, duck-billed, beaver-tailed,          and creative trailblazers.”                                                                producing 140,000       representatives in each country —
accommodate more than 7000 students and                     The new Conservatorium is named after                egg-laying Australian mammal.                    As the first Australian node of an international network, Science Gallery              kWh of solar energy     Harinder Sidhu, High Commissioner to
contains a 400-seat auditorium, 200-seat ground         The Ian Potter Foundation due to its generous            pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/             Melbourne will open as part of Melbourne Connect, the University’s new innovation          a year — offsetting     India, and Gary Quinlan, Ambassador to
floor studio and a variety of rehearsing, performing,   donations totalling $14 million towards the              on-the-dna-trail-of-the-platypus             precinct on the former Royal Women’s Hospital site at the intersection of Swanston         the power usage         Indonesia. The University has developed
teaching and research spaces.                           revitalisation of the Southbank campus. The                                                           and Grattan Streets. Melbourne Connect will incorporate research, industry,                for mechanical          engagement plans for three key
    Barry Conyngham, Dean of the Faculty of             conservatorium has also been funded by the                                                            government and students in a single, purpose-built location.                               ventilation, fans,      countries in the region: India, Indonesia
Fine Arts and Music, said he was excited about the      University, the Victorian State Government and           RESPECT: EVERYONE’S                              The McMullins’ gift includes an expectation that Science Gallery Melbourne will        fume cupboards          and China. Engaging with China
potential for expanding the program of events in        other generous philanthropic supporters,                 RIGHT, EVERYONE’S                            use this opportunity to secure match funding from other supporters and friends.            and lifts.              (2020–2024) is due in 2020.
the new centre in coming years.                         particularly the Myer Foundation and family.             RESPONSIBILITY
                                                                                                                 n In February 2019, Vice-Chancellor
                                                                                                                 Professor Duncan Maskell addressed the
LIFE SCIENCES COMPLEX                                                                                            issue of sexual assault and harassment        Stroke solution in the skies
                                                        The newly opened $100 million Life Sciences              on campus. In a video distributed to all      Australia could become home to the world’s first
                                                        Complex at the corner of Tin Alley and Royal Parade      students and staff, he acknowledged the       stroke air ambulance, transforming rural and
                                                        boasts the most sophisticated STEMM teaching             problem, shared current measures to           regional access to emergency stroke treatment.
                                                        laboratories and facilities in Australia.                combat the issue and highlighted future           A research group led by Professor Geoffrey
                                                            It is the first time that staff and students from    steps necessary to make the University        Donnan and Stephen Davis at the University of
                                                        different faculties will share one building as home.     a safer and more inclusive space.             Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital was
                                                        Students from Science and Veterinary and                     “By working together, students, staff     awarded a $1 million grant as part of the Australian
                                                        Agricultural Sciences, along with those from             and the wider University community            Government’s Medical Research Future Fund
                                                        Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, will have       can help to eliminate sexual assault and      Frontiers initiative.                                                                                                               Medicine, Dentistry
                                                        access to three large practical teaching laboratories,   harassment,” Professor Maskell said.              They will develop, test and ultimately implement                                                                               and Health Sciences
                                                        an object-based learning facility, three classrooms          The video’s release was followed by       portable brain imaging tools that can be transport-                                                                                   Dean Shitij Kapur,
                                                        for small group and problem-based learning, as well      the launch of an anonymous register           ed in air and road ambulances, allowing life-saving                                                                                  Stroke Foundation
                                                        as informal learning and study spaces — all of which     where students, staff, alumni and visitors    equipment to be taken directly to a patient.                                                                                     CEO Sharon McGowan,
                                                        are dedicated to preparing the bioscientists, doctors    can privately report instances where              This is critical in circumstances such as stroke                                                                                   Professor Davis,
                                                        and veterinarians of the future.                         they have witnessed or experienced            onset in which the first hour is known as the ‘golden                                                                                Minister for Health
                                                            The four-level, 6-star Green Star building will      inappropriate behaviour. The register is      hour’, offering the best chances of patient survival.                                                                                    Greg Hunt and
                                                        be a hub of interdisciplinary activities, further        part of the Safer Community Program,              Experts from more than 30 of Australia’s leading                                                                               Professor Donnan at
                                                        demonstrating the University’s commitment to             an online platform that provides support      health and academic institutes and charities are                                                                                    the announcement.
                                                        global excellence in life science teaching, learning,    and advice to members of the University       involved in the project.                                                                                                          PICTURE: Peter Casamento
                                                        research and engagement.                                 community about their safety.
Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN
6     I N T E L L I G E NC E                                                                                                                                                                                 LEADERSHIP                       7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            alumni.unimelb.edu.au
                                                                                                                                 IN BRIEF
                                                                                                                                UNIVERSITY
                                                                                                                                ESTABLISHES
                                                                                                                                FELLOWSHIP
                                                                                                                               IN HONOUR
                                                                                                                               OF ASSOCIATE
                                                                                                                              PROFESSOR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2019
                                                                                                                             ALLISON MILNER
                                                                                                                              The University of
                                                                                                                    Melbourne has established a
                                                                                                       Fellowship to honour the legacy of Associate
                                                                                                       Professor Allison Milner who was killed in a tragic
                                                                                                       accident at Princes Park in Carlton in August.
                                                                                                           Associate Professor Milner, 36, was Deputy
                                                                                                       Head of the Disability and Health Unit at the
                                                                                                       Centre for Health Equity at the University and
                                                                                                       was highly regarded for her research in the field
                                                                                                       of suicide prevention.
                                                                                                           In her honour, the University has established
                                                                                                       the ‘Allison Milner Early Career Research
                                                                                                       Fellowship’ in public health to fund a talented
                                                                                                       early career researcher to develop a program of
                                                                                                       research to reduce inequities in line with
                                                                                                       Associate Professor Milner’s values and interests.
                                                                                                           The Fellow will demonstrate the values
                                                                                                       and qualities that she emulated, including a
                                                                                                       commitment to social justice, valuing of diversity
                                                                                                       and inclusion in the workplace and collaborative
  Esther Stewart installs                                                                              team-based research that includes academics,                                                                PICTURE: CHRIS HOPKINS

                                                                                                                                                              The
  her work at the Accademia                                                                            government and non-government organisations
  di Belle Arti di Firenze.                                                                            and advocates.
  PICTURE: O’ROUKE & GATES                                                                                                                                         The University’s chief
ART
                                                                                                       INAUGURAL LGBTIQA+
                                                                                                       ALLY NETWORK
                                                                                                                                                                   has a lot on his plate,

                                                                                                                                                             voice
Create a work that …                                                                                   The University of Melbourne’s LGBTIQA+ ally                 which he is relishing.
Represents the idea of human physical perfection (David – Michelangelo)
                                                                                                       community, the Pride in Action Network (PiAN),
                                                                                                       promotes visibility and inclusivity of diverse              Peter Wilmoth talks
Divulges a deeply personal, yet unattainable desire (Self-Portrait with Monkeys – Frida Kahlo)
Pushes the boundaries of your discipline to the extreme (RMS Titanic)
                                                                                                       gender and sexuality identities.
                                                                                                           The idea of the network was first introduced            to Vice-Chancellor

                                                                                                                                                              for a
These are some of the briefs 30 emerging           choreographer and dancer Jack Riley,
                                                                                                       to students and staff in an online consultation
                                                                                                       process. Of 773 respondents, 98 per cent agreed
                                                                                                                                                                   Duncan Maskell.

                                                                                                                                                                    D
artists received from the Faculty of Fine Arts     interactive composer Samuel Kreusler and            that the aims of the group resonated with them.
and Music for their first commission.              classical composer Danna Yun.                       This led to the network launch in 2019 at the                                  uncan Maskell is well equipped for the role
    At the time, they did not know that these           University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor        Midsumma Pride March.                                                          of University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor.

                                                                                                                                                              new
briefs were inspired by some of the most           Professor Duncan Maskell, who launched                  Students and staff are encouraged to sign                                  His rich academic career and varied lived
iconic art and cultural pieces currently in        First Commissions in Florence, believes in          up as allies and access free resources to equip                                experiences are proving – for a thought leader
existence. In response, these young artists        the power of art in the 21st century.               them with the knowledge and skills to proactively                              driving the University into a range of new areas
created a wide range of contemporary works,             “As our world becomes increasingly             create a safer campus and online environment                                   both here and globally – extremely useful.
addressing issues from current global crises,      automated, our creative artists and musicians       for all.                                                        A microbiologist by training (he did his doctoral thesis on
such as climate change and refugee treatment       have the ability to work together to solve              PiAN has been involved in a number of                   finding vaccines to fight typhoid), Professor Maskell spent most

                                                                                                                                                               era
to age-old themes of love, grief and loss.         problems and meet the challenges that we            initiatives, including hosting panel discussions            of his adult life at Cambridge University, studying (he was the
    While the brief Michelangelo received in       face in society,” said Professor Maskell. “A fine   during the International Transgender Day of                 first in his family to attend university), teaching and then as
1501 led to the creation of David, an iconic       arts and music education is transformative,         Visibility, and the International Day Against               its Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He arrived in Melbourne late
symbol for physical perfection, its                and encourages confidence and a strong              Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, as well               in 2018 with his wife Sarah, also a microbiologist: “We met in
interpretation by Melbourne visual artist          sense of self-belief. It gives students the         as running free regular training sessions on how            the lab at Oxford,” he says.
Esther Stewart and Australian Indigenous           courage to think independently and critically.      to be a good ally.                                              His passions include soccer (his childhood dream was to play
artist Ashley Perry challenges traditional         It fosters collaboration and creative risk-             The group works closely with departmental               for Manchester United), cricket (on his first visit to Melbourne in
understanding of being perfect. “Human             taking, passion, determination and resilience.”     and student-run LGBTIQA+ programs, including                1994 he attended the venerated Boxing Day Test at the MCG) and
physical perfection is whatever you want it                                                            Melbourne University Sport’s Pride in Sport,                AFL football (for years, he watched highlights packages on TV in
to be, not what you are told it is,” said Perry.   You can find all the artists’ responses             UMSU (the University of Melbourne Student                   England and he has chosen Carlton as his team, mainly because
    Beyond visual art, the commission inspired     to their commissions here:                          Union) Queer Department and GSA (Graduate                   he lives opposite the Blues’ Princes Park). “I love AFL,” he says.
by David has also been interpreted by              firstcommissions.com.au                             Student Association) Queer Department.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             C O N T I N U E D PAG E 8
Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN
8   LEADERSHIP                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LEADERSHIP               9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               alumni.unimelb.edu.au
    F R O M PAG E 7                                                                                                                                                                                                                that anything we think we can predict we’re probably
    “When I got here, people were surprised that I knew                                                                                                                                                                            going to be wrong in 10 years’ time.”
    the rules.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                       When at Cambridge, Professor Maskell had
        We’ve met Professor Maskell at the Ian Potter                                                                                                                                                                              posited the view that the university should not build
    Southbank Centre, part of the Southbank campus in                                                                                                                                                                              any new lecture theatres, which triggered some
    the heart of Melbourne’s arts precinct. The centre is                                                                                                                                                                          pushback.
    the new home for the Melbourne Conservatorium of                                                                                                                                                                                  “That was a bit of a challenging statement,”
    Music (it relocated from Parkville in March). He takes                                                                                                                                                                         he reflects. “It was a challenge to make people
    us on a tour of some of the performing spaces and                                                                                                                                                                              think whether they really did need lecture theatres

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               2019
    outside to the Linear Park precinct which will host                                                                                                                                                                            in the future.
    film screenings and music performances. Over the                                                                                                                                                                                  “I don’t know what it’s going to look like in 10
    road is The Stables, home to the visual arts students.                                                                                                                                                                         years. What I do know is that most of the students
        It’s little wonder he’s excited to be overseeing                                                                                                                                                                           get their factual information from the internet.
    all this cultural activity; music has always been                                                                                                                                                                              So, the idea that there’s going to be set-piece lectures
    central in his life. Aged 11, he sang the solo part in                                                                                                                                                                         for hundreds of students where a bloke like me
    Benjamin Britten’s 60th birthday concert in London’s                                                                                                                                                                           stands at the front and imparts my wisdom in terms
    Queen Elizabeth Hall and later took up clarinet and                                                                                                                                                                            of knowledge download, those days are numbered.
    saxophone. The band he later joined was once on                                                                                                                                                                                However, I do think personal contact is really
    the same bill as Bob Geldof ’s Boomtown Rats. There                                                                                                                                                                            important.”
    was even some record company interest. “There were                                                                                                                                                                                Professor Maskell likes the idea of deeper
    a couple of opportunities we could have taken up,”                                                                                                                                                                             collaboration with the corporate world whereby
    he says, a touch wistfully.                                                                                                                                                                                                    practitioners come onto campus and work alongside
        He is about as far from the don-in-the-ivory-tower                                                                                                                                                                         academics.
    as you could get, which goes some way to explaining                                                                                                                                                                               “I believe very strongly in collaboration. No single
    why he has settled so well into Melbourne life.                                                                                                                                                                                person has a monopoly on the good ideas.”
        This eclectic CV will undoubtedly help with                                                                                                                                                                                   A corollary is the commercialisation of research,
    the impressively ambitious and diverse array of                                                                                                                                                                                another growth area. “Universities are there primarily
    programs and collaborations Professor Maskell                                                                                                                                                                                  to be engines of discovery, to be basic research
    is overseeing for the University: developing the                                                                                                                                                                               engines,” he says. “However, if there are things
    seven‑hectare engineering hub at Fisherman’s Bend                                                                                                                                                                              coming out of the research that are translatable, then
    and the Melbourne Connect project on the former                                                                                                                                                                                they should be translated, and I think we should not
    Royal Women’s Hospital site, “a connected innovation                                                                                                                                                                           avoid our obligations to do that translation.
    ecosystem in the heart of Melbourne” where                                                                                                                                                                                        “And translation, not just commercialisation. There
    academics and industry will get into the same space                                                                                                                                                                            are plenty of things that come out of the University that
    to interact, he says.                                                                                                                                                                                                          could be translated for the public good, which are not
                                                                                                                                                                                                           PICTURE: DREW ECHBERG

           “I’m hoping to do exhibitions                                                   “We want to get our art and cultural objects to
                                                                                       be much more visible and accessible to the public.
                                                                                                                                                    Professor Maskell sees great value in collaborations
                                                                                                                                                 with other countries. He recently visited India           “We need to make sure
                                                                                       I’m hoping to do exhibitions and festivals and all        and Indonesia to meet government and university
             and festivals and all sorts of                                            sorts of other things with the City of Melbourne
                                                                                       where we can really leverage our cultural assets and
                                                                                                                                                 counterparts to discuss opportunities, including
                                                                                                                                                 collaboration on research projects.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           our students have an
            other things with the City of                                              do some really exciting things. I am energised by the
                                                                                       possibilities. It’s a big task but I actually thrive on
                                                                                                                                                    “We’re not in those countries primarily to recruit
                                                                                                                                                 students,” he says. “We want to make relationships
                                                                                                                                                                                                           outstandingly good
               Melbourne where we can                                                  having lots on my plate.”
                                                                                           The various projects will generate jobs and
                                                                                                                                                 with those countries. They are big and important
                                                                                                                                                 countries. We have not done as much as we could
                                                                                                                                                                                                           experience at the
              really leverage our cultural                                             further embed the University into the daily life of
                                                                                       Melburnians. “It’s unavoidable that the University of
                                                                                                                                                 with those countries.
                                                                                                                                                    “We need to make good research relationships,          University, that they
               assets and do some really                                               Melbourne is a key part of the city of Melbourne,” he
                                                                                       says. “Its foundation stone was laid on the same day
                                                                                                                                                 academic exchange and student relationships. By
                                                                                                                                                 doing those things then, yes, we may get more students    get all the teaching
                                                                                       as the foundation stone of the State Library … What       coming over from those countries as a happy accident.”
                          exciting things.”                                                                                                                                                                they need . . . ”

                                                                                                                                                 H
                                                                                       the University has to do is make sure it’s not just an
                                                                                       historical fact but that it’s meaningful here and now.”                     e says any great university has to
                                                                                           This is far from the only change the University                         be international and Melbourne
       Its purpose is to place highest-calibre research,         ABOVE: Professor      is undergoing. “We all need to bear in mind that                            University could lead internationally                           necessarily easily monetised or commercialised. But
    industry, government, higher-degree students             Maskell taking part in    universities are constantly evolving,” Professor                            in some areas – “and, in a sense,                               commercialisation is also important. If we can translate
    and other elite thinkers in a single purpose-built           the lighting of the   Maskell says. This includes funding models.                                 do our share of the heavy lifting in                            stuff that we produced and also make it commercially
    precinct. One floor will be devoted to Science Gallery             wilin (flame)   International students – predominantly from China                           terms of global leadership.”                                    viable and make money out of it, then I think that’s a
    Melbourne, part of an international network designed     ceremony at the Wilin     – make up a significant proportion of the student            Back home on campus there are issues to consider                               really good thing.”
    to bring together students and members of the public     Centre for Indigenous     body. “I think there is always risk in over dependence    around the learning experience, including the future                                 But at its core, the University of Melbourne should
    to explore science and art.                                   Arts and Cultural    on any one particular source of revenue,” he adds.        of physical lecture theatres in the face of the digital                           “put the students at the heart of everything we do”. “We
       Professor Maskell also wants the University to          Development at the      “Are we over-reliant on Chinese revenue? It’s possible    revolution.                                                                       need to make sure our students have an outstandingly
    allow greater access to its valuable art collections     Southbank campus in       we are slightly.                                             “Universities worldwide are all struggling to                                  good experience at the University, that they get all the
    and for the public to have a better experience of its        May, marking the          “I wouldn’t over-egg it though. It’s not too much.    understand how their teaching program will change,”                               teaching they need … but also get a great deal of other
    performing arts. “We are developing the Cultural               start of National   If it all changed tomorrow, we would be able to           he says. “And it will change with the advent of digital                           challenges, the ability to expand their minds into other
    Commons project,” he says.                                Reconciliation Week.     survive for long enough to modify our model.”             technology, which is moving so fast at the moment                                 areas. They get taught how to think.”                3010
Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN
10      MUSIC THERAPY                                                                                                                          MUSIC THERAPY                  11

        A therapeutic

                                                                                                                                                                              alumni.unimelb.edu.au
                            Music is helping people with                                                                   The process involves carers using familiar
                                                                                                                           songs to tune in to the emotional states of
                            dementia to connect with their                                                                 their loved one to encourage connection.

        BEAT
                                                                                                                               “We show carers how to sing in a way
                            carers, writes Kate Cole-Adams.                                                                that initially matches the level of distress
                                                                                                                           in the person with dementia, and to then

                            T
                                                                                                                           slowly adapt the way they sing to
                                          wo women are singing side         study will assess the use of music as a        encourage the person with dementia to
                                          by side on a sofa, swaying to     targeted intervention to improve the           follow them and calm down.”

                                                                                                                                                                              2019
                                          the music. “I know you love       quality of life not only for people with           These strategies are not difficult to teach,
                                          Amazing Grace,” the younger       dementia, but also for those caring for        she says. During the study, a trained music
                                          woman reminds her mother.         them at home, potentially enabling             therapist comes to the home to provide
                                Now she plays another old favourite,        people to live in familiar surroundings        one-on-one training for the primary carer.
                            a slow song. The older woman joins in at        for longer and saving millions of dollars      Carers learn how to interpret the body
                            first, but then frowns and starts plucking      along the way.                                 language, behaviours and moods of the
                            restlessly at her hands. Suddenly, she stands      “The beautiful thing about music, is        person with dementia, and then how to
                            and moves away. Whimpers. Hides her             that it has a unique potential to stimulate    select music appropriate for that moment
                            face in her palms.                              autobiographical recall,” says Professor       and adjust it when necessary.
                                It is a scene that may strike a chord for   Baker, head of Music Therapy at the                The study will include an economic
                            anyone who has a family member or loved         Melbourne Conservatorium of Music,             analysis comparing the cost-benefits of
                            one with advancing dementia: the abrupt         and director of International Research         delivering the intervention training with
                            changes of mood, the growing agitation.         Partnerships for the Creative Arts and         the costs of not. Given estimates that
                            And, for the carer, that familiar sense of      Music Therapy Research Unit.                   the 2015 global cost of dementia was
                            helplessness.                                      She says music activates brain pathways     $US818 billion and rising, the stakes
                                                                                                                           are high.
                                                                                                                               The study is being coordinated
                                                                                                                           through the European Union’s Joint
                                                                                                                           Programme for Neuro-degenerative
                                                                                                                           Diseases, and funded locally by the
                                                                                                                           National Health and Medical Research
                                                                                                                           Council. Professor Baker and her teams
                                                                                                                           in Australia, Germany, the UK, Poland
                                                                                                                           and Norway are now recruiting
                                                                                                                           participants for the study.

                                                                                                                           T
                                                                                                                                        he next step Professor Baker
                                                                                                                                        and her team hope to develop
                                                                                                                                        is different modes of training,
                                                                                                                                        including a mobile device app,
                                                                                                                                        so that the training can be
                                                                                                                           delivered globally, adapting the music
                                                                                                                           and the content of the interventions to
                            Professor Baker uses music to connect with people living with dementia.                        accommodate different cultural needs.
                                                                                                                               Professor Baker emphasises that you
                                But what happens next may not be so         that remain relatively intact even in people   don’t need to be a good singer. The aim
                            familiar.                                       with advanced dementia. Familiar songs         of the music is to support the central
                                As she registers her mother’s agitation,    arouse positive emotions and help people       relationship between the person with
                            Joanne calmly changes the music. This           reconnect with their memories.                 dementia and their carer – and to help
                            time she puts on a jazzy number with a              Unlike other studies that have focused     each find new meaning in sometimes
                            distinct beat. Smiling, she takes her           on the effects of music therapy in care-       confusing moments. “Music is the
                            mother’s hands, moves them in time to the       home settings, the Homeside study aims         connector,” she says.
                            music, urges her to dance. “Spin me mum,        to teach family carers of people with              But the results can be transformative.
                            spin me! . . . I remember you and dad used      dementia to use music strategically to         “You see the person behind the dementia.
                            to do this all the time.” Her mother smiles     help manage the distressing behaviours         All of a sudden, they become activated,
                            back, tentative at first; now laughing.         associated with dementia.                      they come out of themselves. They start
                            Together, they twirl.                               Crucially, as well as assessing the        to look at you, recognise you, smile, and
                                This small exchange happened seven          impact of the intervention on dementia         through doing so, offer precious moments
                            years ago but has helped pave the way for       symptoms such as agitation and                 of connecting with their carer.”
                            a new study that could help transform           depression, this study measures changes
                            the care of people living with dementia,        in the carers’ own quality of life, levels     Professor Baker and her team are
                            including Alzheimer’s disease. The scene        of depression and resilience, and how          developing a music therapy app that
                            is depicted in a video reconstruction of        competent they feel in the caring role.        carers can use at home. Gifts will help
                            part of a pilot that has since evolved into         Professor Baker uses the word              fund the development of the app, which
                            a major multinational study. Led by             “attunement” to describe how Joanne            will support the lives of family carers
                            Professor Felicity Baker, the Homeside          responded to her mother that day.              and people living with dementia.        3010

PICTURE: STEPHEN McKENZIE
Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN
12   COVER STORY                                                                                                                                    COVER STORY                13

     Replenishing the

                                                                                                                                                                               alumni.unimelb.edu.au 2019
          global food bowl
     Scientists are facing
     up to the challenge
     of food security and
     sustainability on
     myriad fronts.
     BY GARY TIPPET

     S
                      omewhere in the Pearl River valley            After completing his PhD at Virginia Tech in the
                      region of China, perhaps as long ago as    US, Dr Johnson first used genetic modification (GM)
                      13,500 years according to recent genetic   technology to make new types of potatoes that were
                      evidence, a prehistoric farmer took a      resistant to a major pest, the Colorado Potato Beetle.
                      type of wild grass and began the long      He then turned his attention to rice, “digging through
                      process of domesticating it into what      the genome to see how we could change the genes to
                      we now know and love as rice.              make a better rice plant”.
                        Today, a variety of rice is grown on        White rice grains contain a mere two-to-five parts
     every inhabited continent and it is the staple food of      per million (ppm) of iron, well short of the 13ppm
     more than half the world’s population, with at least        needed to address rampant iron deficiencies in rice-
     3.5 billion people dependent on the grain for 20            dependent populations, and the tiny bit that’s in the
     per cent of their daily energy. In poorer parts of Asia,    grain is not very “bio-available”, or easily absorbed
     that figure rises to more than 50 per cent.                 into the body. Dr Johnson’s team has studied a variety
         But apart from carbs and calories, it gives them        of genes that help rice to absorb iron from soil, and
     little else. Common white, long-grain rice is low           found that most of these genes only switch on when
     in many essential micronutrients such as iron and           the plant detects that it is iron-deficient.
     zinc, with no vitamin A, vitamin C or beta-carotene,           “We’ve just changed the way one of these genes is
     and with very little fibre. These deficiencies can lead     expressed so that it’s on at higher levels all the time,”
     to serious health consequences, from anaemia and            he says. “You could say, we’ve fooled the rice into
     stunted growth to irreversible blindness. However,          thinking it’s iron-hungry.”
     thanks in part to pioneering biotech research by               It has proved a win-win situation by a factor of
     University of Melbourne plant biologist Associate           three or four – the biofortified grains have reached
     Professor Alex Johnson, that is changing.                   15ppm iron in the field; they have had the added
         Dr Johnson, of the University’s School of               benefit of increased zinc concentration; the minerals
     BioSciences, is an expert in the problem of “hidden         are bio-available; and, the GM rice is just as high-
     hunger”, a chronic lack of vitamins and minerals in         yielding as existing varieties.
     the human diet, and he and his team have developed a           The technology is now being taken into Bangladesh,
     new strain of “biofortified” rice enriched with iron and    one of the most rice-dependent countries in the
     zinc – promising significant improvements in nutrition,     world and one of the worst-affected by iron and
     health and quality of life for malnourished millions.       zinc deficiency. Meanwhile, Dr Johnson’s team is
         “It’s estimated that one in three children around the   using the same technology – and the same rice
                                                                                                                                    Associate Professor Alex Johnson is
     world suffer from a lack of micronutrients,” he says.       gene – to biofortify the world’s other great staple,         using GM technology to bolster nutrients
     “We need to tackle hidden hunger, and one way to do         wheat. His team is aiming to bring iron biofortified           in rice. “You could say, we’ve fooled the
     that is to enrich our staple food crops with minerals       wheat to Pakistan in the near future.                                rice into thinking it’s iron-hungry.”
     and vitamins, referred to as biofortification.”                                            C O N T I N U E D PAG E 1 4                           PICTURE: CHRIS HOPKINS
Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN
14   COVER STORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           COVER STORY              15

     THE FOOD FIGHTERS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alumni.unimelb.edu.au 2019
     PROFESSOR TIMOTHY REEVES                                                                         DR DORIN GUPTA                                                                                PROFESSOR PHILIP BATTERHAM
     YOU MIGHT SAY TIM REEVES WAS                      team was looking for players.                  DORIN GUPTA BELIEVES SHE WAS                     “The world is primarily reliant on           PHILIP BATTERHAM WAS STRUCK BY                  insecticides, particularly neonicotinoids,
     born to agriculture. His family came from             Now, 150 games later, the former           blessed to grow up in Himachal Pradesh        three major crops: wheat, rice and corn.        a mural he saw on Facebook recently.            has been blamed.
     Kingston on Thames, just 15km from                Director-General of the International          in the Himalayan ranges of north India.       We have narrowed down the diversity             It showed a honeybee with the grim                  Professor Batterham, a global leader
     London, but in the last year of World War II      Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre and         “I was born and brought up in nature,”        of crops so much. There are more than           promise: “When we go, we’re taking you          in the genetics of insecticide resistance at
     his pregnant mother was evacuated from            now Professor in Residence at the Faculty      she says. “I’ve seen how nature works         50,000 edible plants on Earth, and we are       all with us.”                                   the School of BioSciences’ Bio21 Institute,
     the heavily-bombed city.                          of Veterinary and Agricultural Science,        in harmony.”                                  almost totally reliant on a handful, maybe          Some scientists have warned that            has devoted his career to better and
         “I was actually born in a farming village     Dookie, Reeves advocates “sustainable              Dr Gupta moved to Australia in 2012       14 or 15, and those three are the major         we face an ‘insect apocalypse’. A 2014          alternative pest control and, lately, to
     and lived my first few months of life on a        intensification” – making agriculture more     and is senior lecturer in sustainable         energy providers for most of the world.         analysis of 452 species estimated that          the downstream effects of low doses of
     farm,” he says. “I’m thinking that’s where        sustainable and also more productive to        agriculture at Dookie campus where she           “With the changing environment, we           insect abundance had dropped 45 per cent        insecticides on the environment and other
     I caught the farming bug.”                        meet global nutritional needs.                 focuses on resource-efficient production      need more diverse and native crops we           over 40 years. In April this year, a study      insect species.
         An interest in biology took him into              “We have to have much greater              systems with the inclusion of technology,     can tap into current production systems.        warned four in 10 insect species could              “But one thing I should say about
     agriculture at the University of Nottingham       diversity in our farming systems. I’m          pre-breeding and breeding to increase         They won’t replace the three staple crops       become extinct. And, echoing that bee           insecticides is that, while people are
     and a talent for rugby brought him to             confident we can meet these challenges         disease and drought-resistance. She           but will be part and parcel of adding           on Facebook, Harvard entomologist               looking at their downsides, without them
     Rutherglen in north-east Victoria after a         because we’re as good as any country           is researching unexplored wild lentil         more diversity and especially resilience,       E O Wilson warned we could follow.              there’d be a whole lot less food in the
     State Department of Agriculture official          in the world at scientists and farmers         seeds for disease and drought-resistant       because you don’t have to do much to            Without insects, other life, and humanity       world,” he says. “We cannot just stop using
     correctly guessed he could transition to          working together to help adapt our             genes that have been bred out of              them – they have been tried and tested          “would mostly disappear … And within            these chemicals; we need to find effective
     the indigenous game and knew the local            agricultural systems.”                         commercial crops.                             by time.”                                       a few months”. Widespread use of                and safe alternatives.”

     F R O M PAG E 1 2                                 Medal, the highest honour in Australian      • Adaptation to climate change – “now a           52 million are wasted; while, on the other    and sustainability of our farming lands.        onset of crop diseases well before they

     B
                                                       agriculture. In his oration, he outlined     crystal-clear reality right before our eyes”      hand, 2 billion adults and 41 million            “Sustainable intensification is one of the   became visible to the naked eye. The
                 iofortification is just one area in   what he described as the five Grand          • Nitrogen fertiliser-use inefficiency            children are overweight or obese.             key pathways to ‘regenerative agriculture’      sensor, able to capture light in and outside
                 which University of Melbourne         Challenges to food and nutritional           • Food loss and waste                                To battle this, Professor Reeves           because it concentrates on those five           the visible spectrum in 100 times more
                 researchers are working to            security, which were posing “a perfect       • The neglect and erosion of rural                believes the world needs a new revolution     elements: conservation agriculture, soil        colour channels than normal digital
                 address the pressing issue of         storm” for agriculture.                      communities, with seven in every 10               of diversified and integrated farming,        health, efficient water management, better      cameras, was flown over tomato crops,
                 world food and nutritional               “Globally, for me, these are absolutely   people likely to be living in cities by 2050.     aiming for – in what might sound              genetic material and integrated pest            detecting minute changes of pigment
     security – defined by Dookie campus-              humankind’s greatest challenge,” he tells        “But in addition, it is vitally important     like a contradiction – the “sustainable       management.”                                    indicating early signs of disease. It enabled

                                                                                                                                                                                                    R
     based sustainable agriculture scientist           3010.                                        to view these challenges in the stark             intensification” of agriculture.                                                              Dr Gupta and the team to build a spectral
     Dr Dorin Gupta as the need to ensure                 With the global population growing by     context of nutritional security,” he adds.           “Basically, we have to produce more                    esearchers in Melbourne and         library of tomato diseases.
     “that all the people, all the time, have the      160 people every minute, the world will          Malnutrition in its widest definition         food from existing land with fewer                        Dookie, near Shepparton,                “Matching the surveillance data to the
     right quantities and, particularly, quality       need to increase food production by 70       is rampant, with 88 per cent of                   resources, and do so more efficiently,”                   have been tackling many of          library data with further advancement
     of food, all year round.”                         per cent by 2060. And that will need to      countries having two or more major                he explains. “It can mean very specific                   these challenges – often with       in interpretation of this data can assist
         But that ambition is a daunting one.          happen in the face of:                       concerns around nutrition. Two billion            things but the way I define it is, you’re                 ground-breaking results and         growers to selectively spray well in time
         Professor Timothy Reeves, professor           • The loss and degradation of natural        people are malnourished and lack key              looking at agriculture that is regenerating   implications for food security.                 before a pathogen can establish to a level
     in residence at Dookie, which is part of          resources of air, land and water – with,     micronutrients, with 800 million of               the natural resource – you’re improving          In 2017, Dr Gupta and a multi-               of significant damage,” she says. “This
     the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural        for instance, one hectare of productive      those going to bed hungry every night;            soil health, you’re improving biodiversity    disciplinary team used a hyper-spectral         is part of precision agriculture; we don’t
     Sciences, was recently awarded the Farrer         land lost every 7.67 seconds                 155 million children are stunted and              and you’re improving the resilience           sensor on board a drone to detect the                             C O N T I N U E D PAG E 1 6
Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN
16   COVER STORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             COVER STORY              17

     THE FOOD FIGHTERS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alumni.unimelb.edu.au 2019
     PROFESSOR ARY HOFFMANN                                                                           DR RACHEL CAREY                                                                                  ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ALEX JOHNSON
     AS A BOY ON HIS FAMILY’S VEGETABLE             bacterial parasites, to block the spread          ONE OF THE ATTRACTIONS THAT                  combined her experience and passion for             ALEX JOHNSON’S INTEREST IN PLANTS              team are utilising a wide range of biotech
     farm near Christchurch, New Zealand,           of viruses.                                       enticed Rachel Carey, when she moved to      good food to collaboratively designing              bloomed early. As a child in Washington DC,    strategies to biofortify rice and wheat with
     Ary Hoffmann developed a keen                      “We can’t rely on broad-spectrum              Melbourne from England 20 years ago,         food systems that are healthy and                   he would follow his mother around the          essential vitamins and minerals.
     interest in bugs; beetles, wasps and           pesticides anymore,” he says.                     was the city’s famed food culture. Now,      sustainable, while designing policy to              backyard helping her plant flowers and             Dr Johnson says there is still resistance
     lacewings were everywhere on the               “They’re not selective. You’re not just           she is protecting and enhancing that         support that.                                       vegetables, although his habit of digging      to GM foods, but believes it is waning.
     farm, some bugs preying on others.             killing one particular pest but a lot             aspect of her adopted home.                      “I think we’re not really aware of how          them up to see how they were progressing       “We’ve now had 23 years of commercialised
         “My father certainly spent a lot of his    of different insects – also the many                 A lecturer in food systems at Dookie,     dependent Melbourne’s food culture is               could be annoying.                             GM crops. People ask how many GM meals
     time spraying,” he says, “And I always         parasitoid wasps and the beetles                  Dr Carey was the lead author of Roadmap      on the quality of fresh food that’s grown              An interest in human health almost took     have been consumed and it’s trillions,
     thought, ‘This is crazy, we can’t keep         that can potentially control the pests.           for a Resilient and Sustainable Melbourne    around the city,” she says. “I’d like to think      him to medicine, but he realised he was        and not a single health incident from any
     going like this’.”                             There’s a whole lot of good guys out              Foodbowl, which outlines the keys –          future generations will be able to source           more attuned to plant biology. At Virginia     of them.
         Young Ary was ahead of the curve.          there.                                            including recycling water and organic        that same quality of food.                          Tech in the early years of commercialisation       “The papaya industry in Hawaii was
     Now, Melbourne Laureate Professor                  “We need to change our thinking               waste, and protection of inner farmland          “The consequence of not protecting              of genetically modified crops in the US, he    wiped out by virus decades ago and the
     at the University of Melbourne School          and come up with new ways of doing                viability – to ensuring the fertile fringe   these areas is we lose our supply of                realised he could combine the two, studying    only way back was GM. I was in Hawaii
     of BioSciences, and a past president           it. But those new ways have to make               continues to provide some of Melbourne’s     fresh, local food. As we become more                how biotechnology could be used to make        recently and made a point of eating a lot
     of the Australian Entomological                economic sense, and therein lies the              fresh food needs.                            dependent on more distant sources                   healthier foods.                               of GM papaya. It was delicious.”
     Society, Professor Hoffmann works              challenge, because people want to pay                Originally working in the field           of food, we’ll have a less resilient food              Now at the University of Melbourne’s
     on integrated pest controls, including         less for their loaf of bread, not more.”          of human-centred design, Dr Carey            supply.”                                            School of BioSciences, Dr Johnson and his                     INTERVIEWS BY GARY TIPPET

                                                       Professor Philip Batterham describes         BioSciences, says that in the past,              same parasite might block the spread of                                                          faculty team produced a comprehensive
     F R O M PAG E 1 5
                                                    himself as “the latest baton carrier in         particularly in broad-acre agriculture,          plant viruses.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       “Right now, about                              and far-reaching plan, Roadmap for a
     have to spray all the paddocks. And, in the    a research relay team” that has studied         farmers would “insurance-spray”                     But the threats to food security are not       55 per cent of people                          Resilient and Sustainable Melbourne
     long term, it’s going to be beneficial for     insecticide resistance at the University        relatively cheap broad-spectrum                  just out in the broad hectares of wheat,                                                         Foodbowl. It outlines a vision for retaining
     environmental health.”                         since 1977. His team have used genetic          pesticides, “whacking it on just in case.        rice and canola. Currently, the fertile food      globally live in cities,                       a resilient, healthy and fair food supply
        From Silent Spring to the “insect           approaches to identify the proteins in          The opposite of that is something we call        bowl in Melbourne’s hinterland produces                                                          for the city, underpinned by key pillars
     apocalypse”, populations of many insect        the insect brain that are targeted by           integrated management, but that’s a more         enough food to meet 80 per cent of the            but by 2050 we expect                          of farmland protection, farm viability,
     species seem to be rapidly shrinking           neonicotinoids.                                 complicated game.”                               city’s demand for vegetables and 41 per                                                          water access and re-use, nutrient recycling
     in size with insecticides being blamed.           “But more recently, we’ve become                Professor Hoffmann has worked with            cent of its total food needs. But as the city’s   almost 70 per cent of                          through composting city organic waste,
     A collapse in European populations of
     the major pollinator, honeybees – and
                                                    interested in the downstream effects of
                                                    low concentrations of neonicotinoids and
                                                                                                    the wine industry to increase shelter belts
                                                                                                    and understory that protect the beneficial
                                                                                                                                                     population heads toward 7 million, that
                                                                                                                                                     could fall to just 18 per cent.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       people to do so.                               and sustainable farming.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          All these advances are important in the
     the subsequent threat to food production       other insecticides on non-pest insects,”        insects and mites that prey on pests;               “Right now, about 55 per cent of people        How we feed people in                          fight for food and nutritional security, but
     – has led to the EU banning some               says Professor Batterham. “We don’t have        developed genetic markers to discover            globally live in cities, but by 2050 we expect                                                   Professor Reeves warns: “One of the things
     neonicotinoid insecticides.                    enough data at the moment. It’s like a jigsaw   invasion patterns of earth mites; and fought     almost 70 per cent of people to do so,” notes     cities is a vital part of                      we have to be careful about is saying
        Whatever the reality of impending           puzzle with some holes … [but] we need          dengue fever using the bacterial parasite        Dr Rachel Carey, an expert in food systems.                                                      something like, ‘If we can get this right,
     Armageddon, the University of Melbourne        answers – and we need them quickly.”            Wolbachia, which stops mosquitoes passing        “How we feed people in cities is a vital part     ensuring food security.”                       we’ll solve the world’s food problems’.
     has a long, impressive history of work            Professor Ary Hoffmann, Melbourne            on the virus.                                    of ensuring food security.”                                                                      All these are just tools in the whole system.
     towards better and alternative pest control.   Laureate Professor in the School of                His group is now investigating how the           In March, Dr Carey and an inter-                                                              There is no silver bullet.”             3010
Fighting to feed the world - University researchers are taking the lead in the quest for food security - CDN
18   OPEN ACCESS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OPEN ACCESS             19

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                     available to everyone?            peer-reviewed research created at our            out there access our content.”                                          10,817 open access research publications
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                     the growing “open access”             Among the most popular works                 on readers coming to its websites to find                         (journal articles, book chapters, reports, etc)
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                                                       thunderstorm climatology, a paper
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                                                       2019 so far is an edited collection of letters
                                                       from Aboriginal women in Victoria from
                                                                                                        come. Instead, you can do a search and
                                                                                                        find this stuff using any mechanism that           MINERVA’S TOP 10 MOST POPULAR ITEMS
     about the University’s scholarship, says          1867 to 1926.                                    you choose: Google, Google Scholar,
     Donna McRostie, Deputy Director of                    Other highlights from the collection         Trove, etc.”                                        In the mood for        The challenges of     The mechanics of       A dynamic structural           Embedded:
     Research and Collections in Scholarly             include the first two PhD theses to ever be          It’s a mammoth logistical undertaking,        love: intersections      teaching physical    tractor-implement         analysis of trees           the Australian
     Services.                                         completed in Australia, as well as the first     and staff can’t just click their fingers and         of Hong Kong              education:          performance:            subject to wind           Red Cross in the
                                                                                                        make everything freely available.                      modernity            juxtaposing the     theory and worked             loading               Second World War
         “It’s a showcase of all the research at the   thesis ever completed at the University of
                                                                                                                                                              Audrey Yue             experiences of    examples: a textbook     Kenneth Ronald James       Dr Jonathan A Spear
     University, and all the student scholarship       Melbourne (An examination of Teutonic            “Permissions must be provided by
     as well. It really profiles the breadth and       Law, completed as part of a Doctor of            students and academics, then there are                 23,100             physical education     for students and             23,270                      16,870
                                                                                                                                                             DOWNLOADS             teachers in Kenya         engineers              DOWNLOADS                  DOWNLOADS
     depth of our research endeavour,” she says.       Laws in 1893).                                   issues such as copyright,” McRostie says.                                     and Victoria        Ross MacMillan
         McRostie works closely with Jenny                 Indeed, Minerva houses more than                 “When we talk about digitising, that’s                                Michael N Wanyama          26,720                 Letters from
     McKnight, a research consultant                   12,000 theses written by University              the easiest part of the process. But then                                       66,480             DOWNLOADS            Aboriginal women of
     specialising in open access, to help              alumni, as well as other research                there’s the contextual metadata to make                                        DOWNLOADS                                 Victoria, 1867–1926
     University academics consider making              publications, including articles, book           them discoverable, the online tools to get                                                     Constructing nurses’       Edited collection
     their research available to anyone.               chapters and even creative works. All up,        them out there. We’re challenged to keep
                                                                                                                                                                                  Beyond black and     professional identity          38,490
                                                                                                                                                                                  white: Aborigines,    Dr Georgina Anne            DOWNLOADS
         “What I find fascinating is the sheer         items have been downloaded more than             up with all of that as well.”                                             Asian-Australians       Parkes Willetts
     diversity of our most highly downloaded           one million times so far this year.                  Alongside increasing accessibility,                                                                                  An ethical defence
                                                                                                                                                                                   and the national          24,260
     items,” McKnight says. “If you look at                “You’ll see a lot of things that are         McKnight says the other purpose of the                                        imaginary            DOWNLOADS               of modern zoos
     our most popular publications in Minerva          popular with practitioners,” McKnight            repository is to preserve the work for                                     Peta Stephenson                              Dr Jennifer Helen Gray
     at any one time, they span a huge range           says. “You would never go through the            future generations.                                                             29,460          Dynamics of critical          19,500
     of areas.”                                        top 20 downloads for a month and see a               “I have people approach me, often                                          DOWNLOADS          Internet culture          DOWNLOADS
                                                                                                        close to retirement, and they want their                                                            (1994–2001)
         Much of the database’s traffic comes          particular discipline dominating. They’re
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dr Geert Willem Lovink
     from developing countries, which                  all represented.”                                body of work preserved. They know
     McKnight notes plays into ideas of                    Research suggests that people who            then that their work will be there and                                                               18,390
                                                                                                                                                                                                           DOWNLOADS
     equitable access that underpin the open           work outside of universities rely on             discoverable, even if a journal publisher
     access movement.                                  open-access databases to gain access             gets bought out or closes everything up.”
         “The vast majority of academic                to knowledge that would otherwise be                 Adds McRostie: “It’s a work in
     research outputs, globally, are behind            unavailable to them. “Practitioners,             progress, and finite resources limit what
                                                                                                                                                       *2002 – October 2019
     paywalls. What that basically means is,           policymakers, business professionals.            we can do. But the opportunities here
                                                                                                                                                       minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au
     if you’re outside a wealthy, often Western        Typically, they will do a Google or              are huge.”                                                                                                                                                             3010
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