The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) has been officially renamed the Australian Plant Phenomics Network (APPN) as of 4 June 2024.

This change reflects our major expansion from two nodes in Adelaide and Canberra to a total of nine nodes strategically located across mainland Australia:

  • The University of Adelaide at Waite and Rosedale
  • La Trobe University at Bundoora
  • Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga
  • The University of Western Sydney at Richmond
  • The University of Sydney at Narrabri
  • The University of Queensland at Saint Lucia and Gatton
  • The University of Western Australia at Perth
  • Western Australian DPIRD at Merredin and Northam

Our Central Office and Data teams will continue to be based on the University of Adelaide Waite Campus.

APPN Chief Executive Officer Richard Dickmann said the name-change, which is complimented with a refreshed brand, is about much more than one new word.

“Having ‘Network’ in our name better communicates our new nation-wide infrastructure and service offering,” he explained.

“APPN is developing a truly national plant phenotyping asset that will accelerate progress in plant science and deliver real benefits for researchers, industry, farmers and consumers.”

Rapidly improving the resilience and productivity of food crops and farming systems is considered vital to economic and food security in Australia and around the world. APPN’s diverse infrastructure will help researchers to understand and develop crops with higher yields, greater disease resistance and/or tolerance to increasing heat, drought and salinity, so that farmers are equipped to meet general production constraints along with new challenges related to climate change and population growth.

With infrastructure in every mainland state, APPN will offer researchers an array of controlled and field growth environments across a diverse range of cropping climates. These sites will all provide sophisticated imaging systems, scanners and sensors, supported by in-house expertise in plant science/botany, mechatronics, computer vision, machine learning and data science.

It means crop developments can be accurately assessed and validated from early genetic and controlled growth studies all the way to through to large scale field trials prior to commercial release.

“APPN will enable researchers to accurately evaluate exciting new advances in grain, tree crop, horticulture and fibre crops across cool, temperate and tropical regions,” Mr Dickmann said.

“I am incredibly excited by the expanded capabilities of the Australian Plant Phenomics Network and our nationwide team of experts is poised to enable a step-change in Australia’s food production, plant research and data science capacity.”

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