TROPAG CONFERENCE 31 October – 2 November 2022 Brisbane, Australia
Prof Paul PG Gauthier
Professor Paul PG Gauthier, Professor in Protected Cropping Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), The University of Queensland
Professor Gauthier is one of the world’s leading experts in vertical farming and protected cropping with many years of experience both in academia and the industry managing research teams. After more than 10 years in academia studying plant physiology from cells to ecosystems, he has been leading the R&D New Product and System Innovation Group at Bowery Farming for the past three years, delivering new products to the market including the first strawberry grown at scale indoors. His previous research at Princeton University focused on understanding the sustainability of vertical farms both economically and environmentally. In July 2022, Professor Gauthier took up a position as Professor of Protected Cropping at Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), where he is building a research team. He plans to focus on tropical and sub-tropical crops, an emerging industry with a high growth rate. The project will look at high-value pharmaceutical and nutraceutical crops that can be grown indoors.
Plenary presentation: Tuesday 1 November 2022
Farming in the 21st Century: Protected Cropping as a solution to mitigate the impact of climate change and supply chain disruption
Building a sustainable and reliable food production system represents one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. While the global population is increasing and expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, climate change and turmoil threaten the resilience of our global food supply chain and solutions must be found. Failing to address these issues may lead to dramatic consequences, both globally and locally. To tackle these challenges, farming needs to adapt to be more resilient to climate-driven extreme events such as drought, floods, fires, or pests. Protected Cropping offers solutions to sustainably produce more nutritious crops all year round independently of weather or climate. Current advancements in protected cropping technologies and research will be presented as well as its potential application for tropical and subtropical crops.