Keynote speakers

We are pleased to announce the following keynote speakers.

Professor Hugh Beckie
Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, The University of Western Australia

Hugh grew up on a farm near Davidson, Saskatchewan, Canada and farmed for over 30 years. He began his 26-year career as a weed scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 1992. Hugh was also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. His research program focused on surveillance, risk assessment, and management of herbicide-resistant weeds as well as impact assessment of novel-trait or GM crops. Hugh has served as President of the Canadian Weed Science Society and became a Fellow of the Society in 2017. In 2018, he received the Fellow award from the Weed Science Society of America. Hugh was also awarded the QEII Diamond Jubilee medal for his service to Canada. In July of 2018, he began a new position as Director of AHRI (Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative; and Professor of Crop Weed Science at the University of Western Australia.

Professor Laurie Drinkwater
Cornell University, United States

Laurie Drinkwater is a professor in the School of Integrated Plant Science at Cornell University. Before joining Cornell, she was the Director of Research at Rodale Institute. She received her PhD from University of California, Davis. For the past 25 years, her research program has focused on key mechanisms governing C, N and P biogeochemistry in agroecosystems. She studies soil processes at scales ranging from the rhizosphere, where plant-microbial interactions dominate, to the field and landscape scale, where human interventions to strongly influence ecosystem processes. The prospect of developing food production systems that enhance ecological processes while contributing to sustainability is a key idea guiding all facets of her work. She values collaborations with farmers and other practitioners and, over the years, these interactions have had considerable influence on the research that her lab has undertaken. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses that integrate ecological and agricultural knowledge. Her goal in teaching and mentoring students is to contribute to the development of scientists who will be equipped to address the global challenges we face in agriculture and environmental management.

Darrylin Gordon
Pastoralist, Lamboo Station, Kimberley, Western Australia

Darrylin is a Jaru woman. She comes from a line of strong and proud Aboriginal women. Her family has been working with cattle all of her life. She remembers being with her grandfather in cattle yards from an early age and she knew that this was what she wanted to do. Today Darrylin is the only woman working on Lamboo Station, owned and run by the Ngunjiwirri Aboriginal Corporation. Her vision to offer training camps to empower local Aboriginal people, earned her the title of WA’s Rural Woman of the Year in 2018.

Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Australia

Steve is the Executive Director of ABARES, the research bureau in the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment. Steve has worked for three decades at the intersection of research and public policy, including as a policy advisor and research leader.

He has particular interests and expertise in natural resource management, integrated assessment, sustainability and global change, adaptive governance, and the science-policy interface. His also a recognised for his work and expertise in megatrends, identifying long-term strategic insights and their implications for maintaining profitable and competitive agricultural and rural industries.

His previous career includes senior roles in Australian Government agencies including Treasury, Environment and Heritage, and Climate Change. He has also worked in CSIRO, where he led the integrated modelling for the Australian National Outlook 2015, and ANU. He is an honorary professor of public policy at ANU, and an expert member of the UN International Resource Panel. Steve has more than 120 papers and reports, including articles in journals including Nature, Science, Agricultural Systems, Ecological Economics, and Ecology and Society.