Cooperative Research Centre
Bid Board Chair
Dr Anne Astin AM PSM
Dr Astin is an experienced Board Chair and non-Executive Director with a demonstrated history of working in the public health, agriculture and food sectors from a research, government policy and regulatory perspective. She is currently serving as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Food Agility CRC.
Born in Durham, UK, and with a PhD in biochemistry, Dr Astin is based in Melbourne and features on the Victorian Honor Roll of Women and has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia and a Public Service Medal for her contribution to the dairy industry and food regulation.
Professor Jean-Pierre Scheerlinck
Professor Scheerlinck is an Honorary Professor of Animal Biotechnology at the Faculty of Science (The University of Melbourne) and founding subject coordinator and teacher of “Insects Shaping Society” at the University.
Along with his passion for bees and pollinators, his decades of experience as a former Director of the Centre for Animal Biotechnology and Associate Dean of Graduate Research, makes him ideal for this role.
Professor Scheerlinck has experience in CRCs and research commercialisation, through previous roles as a Project Leader at the CRC for Vaccine Technology Unit with CSIRO Animal Health, and as a Post-doctoral fellow at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Professor Scheerlinck is currently based in Tasmania.
Professor Saul Cunningham
Professor Cunningham is a prominent academic in the field of crop pollination in Australia, with more than 30 years of research experience. He has worked with industry to improve pollination outcomes from managed honey bees and from wild pollinators. He has also played a role in helping growers and beekeepers prepare for the arrival of Varroa destructor. His work was recognised with the Australian Ecology Research Award in 2015.
Professor Cunningham has substantial leadership experience, working as the Director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, a world-leading centre for environmental and sustainability research. In this role he is responsible for the school’s approximately $18 million budget.
The Pollination Ecosystem Program Leader
Associate Professor Romina Rader
Associate Professor Rader is a community ecologist with expertise in crop pollination by wild and managed insects at the University of New England, Armadale. As Program Leader, Associate Professor Rader will contribute her expertise in crop pollination and pollinator ecology to act as a conduit between industry and research partners.
Associate Professor Rader has a strong track record of building and managing collaborations across industry, research and government institutions, leading to industry-relevant management and policy. Over the past 10 years, she has led nine major research projects involving researchers and industry. Her work has attracted significant grant income of more than $8,400,000 in eight years.
The Managed Pollinator Program Leader
Dr Nadine Chapman
Dr Chapman is a Research Fellow and Guest Lecturer at the University of Sydney. She completed her PhD on Worker reproductive parasitism in Apis mellifera in 2010. She later worked on sexual selection in stalk-eyed flies as a Postdoctoral Researcher at University College London from 2009 to 2013.
The Efficient Crop Pollination Program Leader
Professor Alistair Gracie
Professor Gracie is an internationally recognised researcher based at the University of Tasmania. His work is industry-focussed with the goal of providing practical solutions to improve sustainability and deliver economic benefits.
Professor Gracie’s work in pollination has ranged from seed production in eucalyptus seed orchards and high-value hybrid vegetable seed crops to impacts on secondary metabolites in industrial crops to fruit set and quality in perennial fruit crops.
The Platform Technology Program Leader
Associate Professor Alan Dorin
As lead of the Computational and Collective Intelligence group at Monash University, Associate Professor Dorin’s expertise bridges Computer Science, Artificial Life and Computational Ecology. For the past decade he has focused on simulations of pollination and insect-plant relationships.
Associate Professor Dorin’s research team develops practical tools and simulations to monitor and predict animal-ecosystem interactions. His aim is to provide tools to investigate insect behaviour under complex conditions, to help secure agriculture and sustain healthy, diverse natural ecosystems.
Industry Sector Leads
Industry Sector Lead Committee Chair
Fiona Chambers is the CEO of the Wheen Bee Foundation and has 30 years of business experience in producing and marketing agricultural and horticultural commodities in Australia and overseas. She has lectured in Business Management and Marketing at Marcus Oldham College and convened the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program and the Apple and Pear Australia Ltd Emerging Leaders Program.
Fiona has undertaken Churchill and ISS international study Fellowships related to agricultural industry development (2003, 2010) and is a Fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program (1995). Fiona is based in Victoria.
Industry Sector Lead
Dr Anthony Kachenko
Dr Anthony Kachenko is the General Manager, Production & Sustainability R&D at Hort Innovation. With over 20 years of experience along the agribusiness value chain, Dr Kachenko has extensive links with all pollination-dependent industries.
He oversees investments focused on production-related R&D, including emerging technology, and leads Hort Innovation’s R&D in industry-wide sustainability opportunities. Dr Kachenko is based in Tasmania.
Industry Sector Lead
Suzanne Thompson is Founder and Managing Director of Yambangku Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Tourism Development Aboriginal Corporation which manages a 22,000 Acre Property in Outback Central Western Queensland. She volunteers as the Chair of the Australian Native Foods and Botanicals National Peak body and works to secure Indigenous interests in this expanding global marketplace.
She fosters support and investment for nature-based economies, including Indigenous Land Management, Carbon Farming and First Foods & Medicines, and the recognition, protection, and renumeration of indigenous intellectual knowledge by industry.
Ms Thompson has been appointed to the Central Western Queensland Ministerial Round Table and is proud to be a member of Landcare Australia’s newly established First Nations working group.
Industry Sector Lead
Danny Le Feuvre
Danny Le Feuvre is CEO of the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council, the national peak body for beekeepers. Mr Le Feuvre has been a commercial beekeeper for 15 years providing pollination services in South Australia.
He is currently a non-executive director of AgriFutures Australia and a member of the Hort Innovation Expert Advisory Panel. Mr Le Feuvre is based in South Australia.
Industry Sector Lead
Dr Cameron Spurr
Dr Cameron Spurr is the Managing Director of seedPurity Pty Ltd, a business specialising in conducting and delivering applied research and services to the seed industries. Dr Spurr has extensive experience in management of applied research projects and commercialisation of research outcomes with industry.
He has collaborated extensively with both industry and academia for more than 25 years through grant funded research, contract research for industry, postgraduate research supervision and industry support service provision. Dr Spurr is based in Tasmania.