WA agricultural research shines on world stage

December 9, 2015

crops stock photoThe Australian Research Council (ARC) has released a report showing Western Australian universities are among the best in the world in research allied to Agriculture and Environmental Science.

The ARC’s State of Australian University Research 2015–16 report compares the quality of Australian university research benchmarked against world standards.

The report shows that across Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, WA’s universities provide comprehensive coverage with all of their research rated either at (score 3), above (score 4), or well-above (score 5) world standard.

Murdoch University was the most comprehensive of the State’s universities in Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences and was assessed as at or above world standard in five out of seven possible sub-fields. UWA submitted for assessment in four sub-fields and Curtin submitted for one.

UWA provided the most comprehensive submission in the Environmental Sciences and was ranked well-above world standard (5) in all 3 of the disciplinary sub-fields, while ECU, Curtin and Murdoch were all ranked above world standard (4) in the Environmental Science and Management sub-field.

In Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences all of WA’s universities performed well and were judged well-above world standard in selected sub-fields.

Curtin University received a 5 in Crop and Pasture Science whilst UWA scored 5 in Agriculture, Land and Farm Management.  Murdoch scored 5 in Agricultural Biotechnology, the only University  to do in ERA 2012 and ERA 2015 nationally.

UWA was the only WA university to submit for assessment in Soil Science where it also scored 5.

In Fisheries Science, Murdoch and UWA were assessed as at and above world standard respectively. Both UWA and Murdoch were assessed as at world standard in Animal Production.

Only Murdoch submitted in Forestry Science where it was assessed at above world standard.

The results show the strength and international competitiveness of WA’s universities in sciences related to food production and the environment.

Earlier this year the WA Premier, Hon Colin Barnett announced new investment in three programs focussed on building capacity in the agricultural science sectors, on improving agricultural practices and developing the State’s research in agricultural science.

The results of the ARC report and the breadth of expertise available across the sector show that WA‘s universities are well placed to capitalise on this investment.

On behalf of Deputy Vice-Chancellors (Research):
Professor Robyn Owens – The University of Western Australia
Professor David Morrison – Murdoch University
Professor Graeme Wright – Curtin University
Professor John Finlay Jones – Edith Cowan University

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