News: ACT Conference Scholar’s Reflections, November 2016

As part of the Crawford Fund’s Conference Scholarship initiative, each sponsored scholar is required to write a short report containing their reflections/impressions/take-home messages of the conference.

Now that the reports have been collated, we would like to share with you some of our favourites for 2016. This week our focus is on the ACT, and conference scholar from CSIRO Agriculture, Ross Dennis.

ACT 2016 conference scholars

ACT 2016 conference scholars


About Ross Dennis

My areas of interest include plant biology, agricultural biotechnology and ecological sustainability in agricultural landscapes. My current work aims to engineer plant metabolism to enhance grain quality and yield. Previously, I worked as a consultant where I developed management plans for farms to enhance productivity and biodiversity. I then worked at the University of Cambridge on projects including algal biotechnology, bio photovoltaics, and modelling environmental niches of plant leaf traits. At this conference I hope to meet stakeholders involved in Australian and international agriculture and to better understand the challenges, opportunities and strategies in relation to global food security.

The following excerpts are from Ross’ conference report. To view his report in full, and to read the reflections of the other five ACT Committee sponsored scholars, click here.

On the Take-home Messages

People are our most valuable resource, one which we can least afford to waste if we want a food secure world. Different backgrounds provide unique perspectives and solutions and it is essential for all stake holders including agronomic researchers, social scientists, governments, volunteer organisations, local communities and businesses, to work together. To reinforce this message, key note speaker Professor Louise Fresco, emphasised the importance of being a ‘jack of all trades and master of one’ in order to most effectively work within a multidisciplinary team.

On the Scholars’ Activities

During the scholars’ day, I was impressed by the energy and passion of volunteers and researchers working in developing countries. Through their drive, creative and innovative solutions are being developed and their enthusiasm is contagious.

On the Conference Experience

I am extremely grateful and cannot thank the Crawford Fund enough to have been offered the opportunity to attend the 2016 conference “WASTE NOT, WANT NOT: The Circular Economy to Food Security”. I cannot recommend the experience highly enough to any interested student or early career researchers interested in the area of global agriculture.


Visit our 2016 Conference Scholar page for a full list of this year’s scholars, and watch this space for more conference scholar reflections.