The world has to produce 60-80% more food by 2050 to feed the world’s projected population of 9 billion. However, traditional plant breeding is slow and the current rate of genetic improvement is insufficient to meet this demand.

NASA experiments to grow wheat in space were the inspiration for UQ scientists to develop the world’s first ‘speed breeding’ procedures here on Earth. This enables them to produce up to six generations of major crops per year, compared to the one or two possible with standard growing conditions. This powerful tool is fast-tracking the development of more productive crops in the face of climate change and rapidly evolving pests and diseases.

Join Dr Lee Hickey as he discusses the genetics of disease and drought resistance, and how this can be used to design more robust crops.

Watch the recording

Recording of "Speed breeding – accelerating crop research" lecture (YouTube, 1h:07m:54s)

Meet the presenter

Dr Lee Hickey

Dr Lee Hickey is a geneticist working on Australia’s most important cereal crops, wheat and barley, situated within the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at The University of Queensland.

His research team investigates the genetics of disease and drought resistance in order to design more robust crops for farmers.

For his ‘speed breeding’ innovation and science communication, Lee was named the ‘2017 QLD Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year’ and currently holds a prestigious ARC DECRA Fellowship.

About BrisScience

BrisScience is a monthly lecture series that brings science out of the labs and to the people, making it accessible to all – from scientists, to scientists-at-heart.

Run by The University of Queensland, BrisScience has been delivering engaging lectures on diverse topics from local and international scientists for over a decade.

BrisScience speakers are leaders in their given fields and deliver dynamic presentations based on cutting-edge research.

The University of Queensland has been running BrisScience since 2005, bringing the best and brightest scientific minds to the people of Brisbane – from early career researchers to Nobel Laureates!

Time6:30pm to 7:30pm (light refreshments 7:30-8pm)
VenueThe Edge, State Library of Queensland, Stanley Place, South Bank
CostFree - Eventbrite ticket required


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