La Trobe "Aggies" cultivate connections at AgriBio

La Trobe's 'Aggie' alumni returned to campus for a special behind-the-scenes tour of AgriBio facilities and a panel discussion with experts in agricultural science.

'Aggie' (agricultural sciences) alumni spanning 40 years, from 1979–2019, gathered at AgriBio on La Trobe’s Bundoora campus for an exclusive tour and panel discussion. This provided an opportunity for attendees to experience firsthand the latest innovations and technologies in the agricultural industry.

Following the tour by Dr Tony Gendall, refreshments were served, and alumni had the chance to catch up and plan future networking opportunities, which was hosted by alumnus Andrew Guthrie and alumna Penny Dyson.

The highlight of the event was a panel discussion featuring three of La Trobe’s top researchers: Professor Mathew Lewsey, Dr Kim Johnson, and Dr Penny Smith. The discussion was kicked off by a warm welcome to all attendees from Professor Shaun Collins, the Dean of the School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment (SABE), via video.

During the panel discussion, Professor Mathew Lewsey presented his work on the Australian Research Council Centre of

Excellence in Plants for Space, where he is leading the charge to redesign plants, foods, and plant products that enable deep space exploration and improve Earth sustainability. Dr Kim Johnson shared her insights into the cell walls of plants, and Dr Penny Smith spoke about how legumes contribute to sustainable agriculture due to their ability to fix nitrogen through interaction with rhizobia bacteria and as a source of plant-based protein.

Overall, it was a successful and informative event that brought together Aggie alumni, providing them with the latest research in the agricultural industry, and networking opportunities for the future.

Want to see more from the event? Check out the photo gallery!