The Australian Pulse Conference was held from the 21st – 23rd March 2023 in Toowoomba, Queensland. Waite was well-represented at the conference, with a number of researchers presenting from both SARDI and the University of Adelaide. 

PhD candidate, James Manson, was awarded Best Student Oral Presentation for his talk titledA new framework to understand grain yield response to plant population density across environments’. James’ research focuses on developing a physiological model of how faba bean crops form their grain yield so that growers, agronomists and breeders can better predict or understand the yield responses to the things they do. James is supported by a GRDC Research Scholarship, and supervised by Victor Sadras (SARDI), Lachlan Lake (SARDI) and Matt Denton (UoA).

Image provided by Simon Michelmore

PhD candidate, Simon Michelmore, was also awarded Best Student Poster for his poster titled ‘Plant architecture and yield potential of novel herbicide tolerant pulses’. Hear from Simon, who shares an overview of the conference and his research below.  

The Australian Pulse Conference, organised by the newly established Pulse Grains Society of Australia Inc., is a unique multi-disciplinary community of researchers, crop breeders, processors, manufacturers and more. The resulting diversity of topics covered at the conference fosters new collaborations and forces us all to think outside of our niches.

Attending the Australian Pulse Conference in Toowoomba was a great opportunity to re-connect with pulse researchers from interstate and international institutions, many of whom I hadn’t seen in person since the pre-covid era. It was wonderful to be able to present some of my PhD results and to see the excellent research happening across the country. 

I was stoked to take home the prize for Best Student Poster for my poster titled ‘Plant architecture and yield potential of novel herbicide tolerant pulses’. My poster showcases some of the key results so far from my PhD project including how a gene encoding the target site of certain synthetic auxin herbicides is essential for hormonal cross-talk to regulate shoot branching, and how herbicide tolerance mutations have the potential to substantially increase grain yields. My PhD project is generously supported by a GRDC Grains Research Scholarship and is just scratching the surface of the potential to improve plant architecture for more productive and sustainable crops. 

Simon Michelmore receiving the Best Student Poster Award

James Manson receiving the Best Student Oral Presentation Award

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