Surya’s ‘can-do’ attitude yields Foundation award
30 March 2017
Horsham grains researcher Surya Kant's can-do attitude has earned him this year's Wheat Research Foundation Award.
The award recognises an Agriculture Victoria Horsham staff member demonstrating outstanding achievement above and beyond expected work outcomes.
Dr Kant, who has previously worked in Canada, Israel and India, arrived at Horsham six years ago and has played a leading role in setting up Victoria's first high-throughput plant phenomics facility.
Plant Phenomics Victoria, located at the Grains Innovation Park in Horsham, represents the most advanced plant phenomics capability in Australia. It allows for non-destructive, accurate, whole-of-life-cycle, quantitative measurements of plant growth and development, supporting research in grains, horticulture and forages to advance productivity and biosecurity outcomes for plant and animal industries.
The facility was opened in early 2016, and has been host to more than 50 tour groups.
Dr Kant and his team have successfully tested traits for water use efficiency, salinity tolerance, boron tolerance and higher biomass and yield for crops such as wheat, lentil, chickpea, field pea, canola and ryegrass.
But Dr Kant's work extends beyond the high-tech glasshouse and into the field, where he has conceptualised, designed and supervised the installation of rainout shelters for well-defined water stress field phenotyping of crop plants.
A research article about the design, application and use of rainout shelters was recently published in the journal Crop Science USA.
Wheat Research Foundation chair John Ackland paid tribute to Dr Kant.
"Surya has consistently displayed a combination of energy, hard work, scientific rigour and teamwork to produce an exceptional track record.
"He has built a high calibre team, has worked with local engineers to develop equipment for in-field imaging, and promotes a culture of 'can-do enterprise'," Mr Ackland said.
The Victorian Wheat Research Foundation originally developed a facility in the late 1960s at the current Grains Innovation Park site. This was principally to breed wheat but has evolved and expanded over nearly half a century.
Categorised under: Research,Agriculture