The APPF has welcomed a new Interim Executive Director in Richard Dickmann, who has taken over from Dr Susie Robinson.

Susie recently resigned from her role as APPF Executive Director to relocate with her family to the UK but will remain involved with the APPF in an executive advisory role until June 2023.

Richard has been a member of the APPF Advisory Board for four years and was asked to step in as Interim Executive Director to ensure stability and continuity as we set our strategic direction for the next five years.

Board Chair Dr Ron Sandland says he is delighted that Richard has agreed to take on the position.

“He has played an influential and strategic role on the APPF Advisory Board and his wide background in the agriculture industry is just what we need to realise our vision,” Dr Sandland says.

Richard comes from a farming background, having grown up on a farm in southwest Victoria. He has since pursued a forty-year national and international career in corporate crop science and now lives in Melbourne.

He says his appointment by the Board (of which he remains a member) was based on a desire to build on the great legacy left by Dr Robinson.

“Susie did an enormous amount to strengthen the vision of APPF and we all wish her the very best for her new endeavours in the UK and beyond.

‘I am convinced that Australia needs the plant phenotyping infrastructure and expertise delivered by APPF, both to support our agriculture industry and maintain our standing in the scientific world.

“I certainly know we have the team to make great things happen.”

Richard has an abiding interest in the role of imaging technologies in agriculture, having focused his Masters degree on satellite mapping of soils. Throughout his career with Bayer, he saw first-hand the immense importance of cutting-edge facilities for attracting external funding as well as talented scientists, technicians and support staff.

“The APPF Advisory Board and I remain committed to the vision of a strong, truly national and cutting-edge plant phenomics facility that is equal to or better than any in the world,” he says.

“I am truly excited to be working with the team to help establish APPF’s strengths and strategy for the years ahead.”