Scientific Advisory Committee

The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is an independent advisory committee for CSIRO’s Capturing Heterosis for smallholders Project. It has been assembled to collectively provide independent scientific, technical and research advice to CSIRO and thereby sub-grantees involved in the project in order to maximize project excellence, its successful completion, and guidance to ensure that the research remains focused towards future relevant, rapid and practical delivery into agricultural crops.

Scientific Advisory Committee members have collectively been selected on their leading expertise and credentials in understanding the genetic and molecular processes regulating plant growth, flowering and seed formation, synthesis of this information in genetic and genomic plant breeding and practical experience in the commercial delivery of improved agricultural varieties via transgenic and non-transgenic approaches in the international arena. They have also been selected for their impeccable professional attributes regarding independence, confidentiality and the management of sensitive information during the course of large multinational projects.

The members of the Scientific Advisory Committee are:

Professor Maurice Moloney
Head of the Global Food Security Institute, Saskatoon Canada
Maurice Moloney is currently head of the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS), in Saskatoon Canada. He joined GIFS from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) where he led the organization’s R & D in Agriculture, Food and Nutrition and Biosecurity employing over 1100 researchers and support staff. Prior to CSIRO, Dr. Moloney was the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the world’s oldest and Europe’s largest agricultural research centre – Rothamsted Research. This UK-based Institute is a world leader in food security, agricultural sustainability and the adaptation of agriculture to the consequences of both climate change and fossil fuel depletion. He was the founder of SemBioSys Genetics Inc, based in Calgary, and served as the company’s president from 1994-1998 and then as Chief Scientific Officer from 1998-2010. He held a Dow AgroSciences-Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Industrial Research Chair in plant biotechnology from 1995 until 2003. Dr. Moloney also spent fifteen years as a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary pursuing research on seed-specific gene expression, herbicide resistance, recombinant protein production and the plant cell cycle. Previously, he was the head of the Cell Biology Group at Calgene Inc., where he developed the first transgenic oilseed plants using Canola as the target. This resulted in a landmark patent in plant biotechnology and eventually became the basis of RoundUp Ready® and Liberty Link® Canola, which now commands more than 90% of the Canola acreage in Canada, a market of more than $200 M per annum.

Professor John Bowman (FAA)
Professor, Monash University. Victoria Australia.
John Bowman is a highly cited and respected researcher in fundamental plant science research. He has made highly original discoveries that have revealed the genetic basis of three fundamental processes in plant development. He demonstrates innovative, forward thinking approaches towards understanding reproductive science and deep technical knowledge of genes and epigenetic processes regulating in plant reproduction from flowering to seed formation. John participated in the development of the project proposal. Apart from his role on the SAC he will be involved in a number of scheduled technical meetings during the year with sub-grantees and the project leader. His independent feedback on issues to the SAC shall facilitate assessments on technical progress and or impediments.

Andrew Granger (BAgSc, PhD)
Director of Research, Plant & Food Research, Australia
Andrew Granger has thirty years’ experience in Agricultural Research and Development. He is has a unique combination of expertise and experience in plant breeding, farming systems, genomics and genetics.  He has managed large research teams and their scientific directions and collaborations with multinational companies during his work for the Plant and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Ltd, the Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Ltd., the South Australian Research and Development Institute, and the South Australian Department of Agriculture. He has directed major fruit, vegetable and arable crop programs at these research institutes and is internationally recognized for his scientific research in tree crop genetics and breeding.

Dr Anna Koltunow
Project Leader, BMGF Capturing Heterosis for Smallholders, CSIRO (Agriculture Flagship).
Ex officio member of the Scientific Advisory Committee.