Call for Symposia

The deadline for submitting symposia proposals of 31 January 2017 has now passed.

The Committee will judge the proposals according to its ability to address the themes of the conference. Applicants will be advised via email whether or not their symposium proposal has been accepted by 28 February 2017.

Successful symposium applicants will have access to the abstract call results from June 2017 from which to select their final two speakers.

Successful applicants will be required to submit their confirmed speaker and chairperson names to the conference secretariat via email to TropAg2017@expertevents.com.au by 21 April 2017.

An abstract submission link will be provided in due course to individual symposium presenters, who will be required to submit their final presentation title and abstract online by 30 June 2017.


Symposium format

A symposium is designed to be a focused session in which speakers present on a common theme. There are six themes from which to choose, as listed below.

Each symposium will run for two hours and is to incorporate six speakers.

The symposium should consist of a chairperson briefly introducing the topic and introducing the session. This is to be followed by six individual speakers, each with an allotted presentation time of 15 minutes plus 5 minutes to allow audience members to ask questions of presenters and for an exchange of views.

Four of the six speakers can be from any origin and may include a TropAg2017 keynote speaker. Please note a keynote speaker may present only one symposium address.

It is suggested that applicants select two of the six speakers from the TropAg2017 abstract submissions. TropAg2017 Abstract call opens on 31 October 2016 and closes on 14 June 2017. Successful symposium applicants will have access to review and select from the abstract submissions from April 2017.

Conference registration and travel expenses

If your proposal is successful the symposium applicant, chairperson and speakers will be requested to register for the conference and pay the appropriate registration fee. Full Conference and single day registrations will be available via the on-line registration portal.

The symposium applicant, chairperson and speakers are to fund their own travel expenses.

Instructions for the preparation of your symposium proposal

Proposals must include sufficient supporting material to permit the Committee to evaluate the quality of and potential interest in the symposium.

Symposium proposals are to be submitted on the application form by 31 January 2017 to TropAg2017@expertevents.com.au.

The proposal should include:
1. Symposium title
2. Selection of the relevant theme(s)
3. A short descriptive summary of the symposium (100–200 words)
4. Targeted audience profile
5. Title, name, affiliation and country of at least four proposed speakers
6. Individual speakers’ draft presentation titles.

After the submission

The Committee will judge the proposals according to its ability to address the themes of the conference. Applicants will be advised via email whether or not their symposium proposal has been accepted by 28 February 2017.  Successful symposium applicants will have access to the abstract call results from April 2017 from which to select their final two speakers.

Confirmation of symposium speaker names, presentation titles and abstracts

Successful applicants will be required to submit their confirmed speaker and chairperson names to the conference secretariat via email to TropAg2017@expertevents.com.au by 21 April 2017.

Individual symposium presenters will be required to submit their final presentation title and abstract online by 30 June 2017. A link will be provided in due course for this process.

Symposia themes

Theme 1: Future Field Crops

This theme invites symposia that cover all aspects of tropical and subtropical field crop improvement targeting enhanced productivity and product quality for target markets and consumers. This includes, for example, the development and delivery of advanced germplasm; crop adaptation studies that might incorporate advances in crop physiology and modelling; advances in pest and disease management; and advances in agronomic approaches that might cover aspects of crop agronomy, crop nutrition, soil health, weed management, information technologies and decision making.

Keywords: Productivity, Product Quality, Plant Health, Crop Physiology, Crop Modelling, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Systems Science and Modelling, Soil Science, Weed Science, Microbiome, Remote Sensing, Gene Editing, Climate Change

Theme 2: Harnessing Horticultural Crops

This theme invites a series of symposia that concentrate on initiatives that deliver improved market acceptability and productivity for tropical and subtropical horticultural crops. Symposia on breeding programs that advance commercial varieties, the delivery of new genetic solutions or new solutions to progress disease management, and advances in mechanisation and management systems would be appropriate for this theme.

Keywords: Productivity, Product Quality, Plant Health, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Crop Physiology, Modelling, Mechanisation, Climate Change, Gene Editing, Remote Sensing, Automation, Microbiome

Theme 3: Advancing Animal Science

This theme’s symposia will focus on the latest research in animal science across all species grown in the tropics and subtropics providing food, fibre or labour. Symposia covering animal health, welfare, public health, food safety and biosecurity would be appropriate for this theme. Symposia focused on advances of genetics, breeding and reproduction will also be appropriate as will be research focused on nutrition, pasture, rangelands, remote sensing and metabolism.

Keywords: Animal Nutrition, One Health, Animal Breeding and Genetics, Diagnostics, Vaccines, Parasitology, Husbandry, Welfare, Gene Editing, Microbiome, Genomics, Rumen Ecology, Ethics, Climate impacts, Pandemic Potential, Zoonosis, Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Pigs, Poultry, Aquaculture

Theme 4: Nutrition and Food Sciences

This theme encourages symposia that showcase the development of enhanced health outcomes and/or economic benefits that have been or could be achieved through nutrition and food sciences. Symposia could cover aspects of, for example, the molecular basis for food quality, food processing and preservation, health and nutrition properties, food provenance, and/or sensory and consumer science. Symposia may focus on specific aspects of quality and/or nutrition across a range of food types, or may focus on specific food types of relevance to the tropics and subtropics.

Keywords: Food Quality and Human Nutrition, Sensory and Consumer Science, Microbiome, Post Harvest Losses, Biofortification, Meat Science, Food Safety, Value Chains, New Foods (Fungi, Algae and Insects)

Theme 5: Drivers and Consequences of Intensifying Agriculture and Food Systems

Symposia that offer opportunities to further sustainably intensify agriculture in tropical and subtropical regions are sought. Symposia considering pathways to achieve food/nutrition security and reduced poverty would be appropriate, for example, focusing on farming systems research, sustainable development goals, research for development, and supply chain and market access issues. Symposia that work towards quantifying impacts and adaptation to climate variability and change would also be appropriate to this theme, as would symposia addressing issues such as input and energy use and life cycle analyses.

Keywords: Sustainable Intensification, Supply Chain, Climate Risks, Environment, Research for Development, Social Aspects of Technology, Policy Interventions, Seed Systems, Technology Adoption, Changing Land Use, Ethical, Social and Gender Issues

Theme 6: AgFutures Queensland

This theme is a platform for presentations that showcase local agriculture and food innovation technologies driving industry development and expansion within the sector. This theme invites symposia and presentations at the investment-ready or commercialisation stage including the latest agri-tech developments and applications, from digital and data platforms to robotics, satellites, and bio-technologies. Symposia may examine the integration of agri-technologies, innovation and investment across various industries, with a focus on supporting the research and development community and small to medium enterprises.

Keywords: AgFutures, Agri-tech, Automation, Bio-technologies, Business opportunities, Commercialisation, Digital and Data Platforms, Digital Disruption, Emerging Trends, Global Investment, Innovation, Processing improvements, Robotics, Satellites, Technology