A researcher who commits herself to improving Australian grain production through impactful science and supporting others in her field has been recognised as one of the industry’s most influential young leaders.
Dr Therese McBeath, a CSIRO research scientist and Affiliate Lecturer with the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine based here at the Waite, has been presented with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Southern Region 2017 Emerging Leader Award. The annual award – voted upon by the GRDC Southern Regional Panel – acknowledges, encourages and rewards young emerging leaders of the grains industry in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley says over a relatively short period of time, Dr McBeath has not only established herself as a grains researcher of note, but she has also earned widespread respect for her passion to lead and educate others.
“Therese is an excellent team and people person, as demonstrated by her impact across the southern region with farmers, advisers, grower groups and collaborating researchers, including those from overseas,” said Mr Pengilley when presenting the award at a GRDC Grains Research Update in Adelaide.
“Not only has she led the development and implementation of major research projects and teams, but she has also successfully supervised these programs and is a respected mentor for PhD students. When undertaking her work, Therese applies scientific excellence, practical thinking and a deep awareness of the importance of on-farm impact from research.”
A research team leader in CSIRO’s Integrated Agricultural Systems program, Dr McBeath (currently on maternity leave) has expertise in soil and crop nutrition and works on a range of largely industry-funded projects that test strategies to improve productivity and profit-risk outcomes for growers across the southern cropping region. Having played an important role in the GRDC’s ground-breaking Water Use Efficiency initiative, she has more recently been involved in research into improving fertiliser strategies, low rainfall cropping systems and the performance of sandy soils.
Mr Pengilley said the Emerging Leader Award was a financial scholarship and could be used for travel or another agreed activity to further the skills or expertise of the recipient.
“The key aim is that the emerging leader will establish linkages that leverage international knowledge and opportunities to assist the Australian grains industry to address research and skills gaps. We trust that through this award, Therese will network and develop linkages with world-leading researchers to identify paths to profitability for growers across the southern cropping region,” Mr Pengilley said.