The 29th International Horticultural Congress | Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes | 17-22 August 2014
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Welcome to the 7th Education, Research Training & Consultancy Symposium

Sponsored by the ISHS Commission on Education, Research Training and Consultancy

It is with great pleasure, that we invite you to attend the 7th International Symposium on Education, Research Training, and Consultancy which is to be held over August 18 - 20, 2014 in Brisbane, Australia as part of the 29th International Horticultural Congress (IHC2014). IHC2014 will include many symposia and workshops that not only cover the education, training and extension aspects associated with the horticultural industry, but also other individual sectors of food production and environmental/amenity horticulture.

The Symposium has as its theme "Horticultural Education, Research Training and Extension in Changing Times" with topics ranging from new innovative approaches to education, research training and extension in developed and developing countries, vocational training and learning for the workforce, undergraduate and postgraduate training for the workforce, managing knowledge and student learning, and visionary papers on the future of horticultural education, research training and extension.

Academics, scientists, researchers, consultants, government extension officers, graduate students and industry leaders are invited to participate in the sharing of research-oriented information within the field of horticultural education, research training and extension.

As this symposium seeks to address the various means of improving the performance of horticultural education, research training and extension in changing times, we invite paper presentations which address the risks, challenges, opportunities and solutions on:

  • Addressing declining student and staff numbers in horticulture and horticultural science
  • Currency and changes to curriculum, courses and activities in horticulture and horticultural science that attract and retain students
  • Research training and extension in horticulture and horticultural science in developing and developed countries. What will be the relevant skill set required for staff, students and industry into the next decade?
  • Partnering and marketing persuasive cases that will communicate and sustain horticultural education programmes, research training and extension in horticulture and horticultural science at higher education, vocational training institutions, community colleges and high schools

We will also welcome papers that discuss recent advances more generally in any of the following topics such as historical perspectives and personalities associated with horticultural teaching, research and extension, models in the progressive delivery of horticultural education programs, research teaching and extension, successful approaches in seeking industry funds, accessibility of horticultural education in developing countries, the role of industry in education and training, marketing horticultural training programs, staff supervision and student issues, skills acquisition and career opportunities, industry training and extension methodology, and models for collaboration between institutions and industry. An opportunity exists for contributors to present a horticultural education, research training and extension profile of horticulture and horticultural science and their courses in their respective countries.


Robyn McConchie is Head, Department of Plant and Food Sciences at the University of Sydney. She has a BSc Plant Science from Wye College (Lond Univ), MA (Education) (Macquarie Univ) and a PhD (LSU). She has been involved in postharvest research and education for over 30 years working on minimising pesticide use, and more recently food safety. She has led many international research and capacity building projects in post farm gate areas such as postharvest of grains and perishables, supply chain management and linking farmers to markets, across SE Asia, the Pacific and Africa. From 2006-2010 Robyn was Director of the University’s Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific managing international research and non-award training programs across all disciplines at the University. Robyn has served as Past President and Secretary of Australian Society for Horticultural Science, and is currently Chair of the International Protea Working Group (ISHS). She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and serves as a non-executive Director of the Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust, Sydney and the Fresh Produce Safety Centre hosted by the University of Sydney.

Dr Brian Jones, University of Sydney

Keynote Speakers

Professor Geoff Dixon from the University of Reading and GreenGene International (UK) will present an address on “Making 21st Century European Horticultural Knowledge Transfer Fit-for-Purpose”. Prof. Dixon is owner of the consultancy company, GreenGene International and Visiting Professor in the School of Agriculture, Reading University, UK. He has extended experience in the provision of integrated systems which combine undergraduate and postgraduate education with research relevant to industrial, environmental and social needs and consultancy which delivers technological solutions. He is also a specialist in sustainable soil microbiology.

Dr Rémi Kahane is expert in horticulture research for development at CIRAD, France. He served for 7 years as Executive Secretary of GlobalHort, hosted by FAO in Rome, or by AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center in Arusha, Tanzania and in Chinese Taipei. Previously, he worked for 15 years in onion breeding and Allium bulb physiology for a farmers’ cooperative in Burgundy, where he received a prize for his PhD thesis.

Professor David Wm. Reed, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs & Faculty Development at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, USA will address the subject of ”Challenges of Higher Education in the U.S.- What will Horticulture of the Future Look Like?” Prof. Reed has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses, both at Texas A&M, in the United States and internationally. Primarily, he has taught the same introductory horticulture course for 34 years to over 16,000 students and covering three generations of students, culminating with the current millennial student. He will discuss changing student expectations at the undergraduate and graduate level, enrollment trends, departmental mergers, degree consolidations/eliminations, and the impact of research funding on graduate education in the USA. These trends paint a changing picture of horticultural education in the USA in the future.

Professor James Pratley from the School of Agriculture and Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia will speak on “The Workforce Challenge in Australian Agriculture and Horticulture”. Prof. Pratley is Research Professor of Agriculture at Charles Sturt University and Secretary of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture. He was Foundation Dean of Science and Agriculture at Charles Sturt University from 1990 until 2006. Jim has taught courses in agronomy and related areas and has published widely in conservation farming, weed management, herbicide resistance and allelopathy. He is a former President of the Australian Society of Agronomy and former Vice President of the International Allelopathy Society. He has served on the Boards of the Cooperative Research Centres of Viticulture, Sustainable Rice Production, Weed Management Systems and Plant Based Management of Dryland Salinity. He is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Australian Farm Institute, and the NSW Primary Industries Minister’s Ministerial Advisory Council. He is currently undertaking a Ministerial Review into Agricultural Education and Training in NSW.

Editorial Committee

  • Adjunct Associate Professor Dr David Aldous (Australia)
  • Professor Dr Geoffrey R. Dixon (United Kingdom)
  • Dr Owen Doyle (Ireland)
  • Dr Alan Hunter (Ireland)

Scientific Committee

  • Alison Anderson (Australia)
  • Brian Calcinai (New Zealand)
  • Dr Owen Doyle (Ireland)
  • Dr Mary Forrest (Ireland)
  • Associate Professor Kevin W. Frank (United States of America)
  • Dr Hedy Goh (Singapore)
  • Professor Dr. Richard M. Hendrick (South Africa)
  • Dr Susanne Hofmann-Souki (Germany )
  • Professor Stan Hokanson (United States of America)
  • Dr Alan Hunter (Ireland)
  • John Mason (Australia)
  • Professor Dr Robyn McConchie (Australia)
  • Professor Dr Willie Nel (South Africa)
  • Helen Van der Werff (New Zealand)