FEEDING
THE FUTURE


We recognise the world is rapidly changing. That’s why a UWA degree prepares you for the careers of the future.

Despite the significant progress made over the last two decades, more than one billion people around the world still go hungry every day. Join us at UWA to discover how future needs will influence future careers.

Seminar audio clips

In case you were unable to attend our Feeding the Future event on Sunday 18 June, or happened to miss one of our seminars, we have provided links to audio files of all the sessions.

Towards the future of humanity: UWA Future Farm 2050 Project
Presenter
Professor Graeme Martin, School of Agriculture and Environment
Description
Urban critics like to blame farmers for many aspects of environmental degradation, all the while consuming the products of global agriculture. Those same critics, living in an advanced society and taking advantage of their high-level education, seem to have forgotten that, before agriculture, civilisation as we know it did not exist. That said, there is no doubt that modern, industrialised agriculture has caused a lot of ecological damage as it has tried to keep up with demand from an exploding human population. In this discussion, we will deal with two of the biggest issues: biodiversity and carbon pollution. Farmers are responsible for as much as 60 per cent of the Australian landscape, and thus much of the biodiversity that symbolises our nation. They are also responsible for as much as 20 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions. We can sit back and snipe, or we can embrace the people who feed us and see them as the solution, not the problem. We must work together to tackle the biggest issue confronting humanity – the need to feed 50% more people by 2050 without destroying the planet.
Audio presentation
Field-portable sensors for farming in the 21st century
Presenter
Prof Lorenzo Faraone,  Head Microelectronics Research Group School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Description
Join in on the discussion that will outline the technologies that have been developed by the Microelectronics Research Group at The University of Western Australia that showcase real-time farming in the 21st century.
Audio presentation
Agricultural engineering – practical research solutions to challenging global agricultural problems
Presenter
Dr Andrew Guzzomi, Research Fellow School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering
Description
There is an ever-increasing need for agricultural-specific engineering to help mitigate the issues threatening our planet and its inhabitants. Heading towards the middle of this century we will see the need to feed 50% more people than we do today, meaning global food production will become increasingly dependent on advances in engineering. Join us to hear about the current state-of-the-art agricultural engineering activities occurring at UWA to address these challenges.
Audio presentation
Food security through marine planning: managing marine environmental resources for the 21st Century
Presenter
Dr Julian Clifton, Senior Lecturer School of Agriculture and Environment
Description
Human society has always had a strong preference for settlements in coastal areas and currently around 40% of the world’s population lives within 100km of the coast. This has placed extreme pressure on coastal ecosystems and will highlight how sustainability  in coastal populations needs to be put into practice.
Audio presentation
The past and future of food: a social smorgasbord
Presenter
Dr Marilyn Bromberg (UWA Law School) and Justine Howard (The University of Notre Dame Australia), Associate Professor in History Andrea Gaynor (UWA).
Description

When children consume energy drinks, the effects can be disastrous – from pain and vomiting, through to hospitalisation and death. So should we ban the sale of energy drinks to children?

There is a growing movement in Australia and internationally around urban food production for resilient and sustainable cities. What can the experience of the Second World War teach us about how to grow more urban food?

Audio presentation
The hungry and overweight paradox
Presenter
Winthrop Professor Jeff Hamdorf, Director and Professor of Surgical Education
Description
There is an increasing confusion and confliction of information when it comes to obesity and food insecurity. Countries such as China and India are home to some of the poorest people in the world and yet, the highest rates of obesity. It seems perplexing to think that hunger and obesity can be used in the same sentence. However, low income households don’t allow for consistent access to food that is high in nutrients but rather the food that is accessible to these people is lacking in quality and ample in calorie density.
Audio presentation
Global business of food
Presenter
Professor Anu Rammohan, PhD student Haiyan Liu, and Dr Andrew Williams
Description
UWA’s leading economists investigate international patterns of food and consumption. What drives global food demand? How can we improve food security in Asia? Is famine man-made? And what role does government have to play in feeding the world? Join us as we harness the power of Economics to answer these questions.
Audio presentation
The costs of food-borne illness: What role do chefs and cooks play?
Presenter
Dr Michael Burton, School of Agriculture and Environment
Description
This seminar will focus on the prevalence of food-borne illness in Australia. It will cover estimates of what it costs to the country, and also report on studies which show risk increasing behaviours (by chefs and food consumers). 
Audio presentation
Genomics and supercomputing for food security
Presenter
Dr Laura Boykin, Senior Research Fellow and Senior TED Fellow, School of Molecular Sciences & ARC CoE Plant Energy Biology
Description
Dr Laura Boykin is a Senior TED Fellow who uses genomics and supercomputing to help smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa control whiteflies, which have caused devastation of local cassava crops (a plant that feeds 800 million people). Her lab at UWA is using genetic data to understand the whitefly’s evolution. Boykin also works to equip African scientists with a greater knowledge of genomics and high-performance computing skills to tackle future insect outbreaks. She was invited to present her lab’s research on whiteflies at the United Nations Solution Summit in New York City for the signing of the Sustainable Development Goals to end extreme poverty by 2030.
Audio presentation
Philosophy, food and ethical eating
Presenter
Dr Nin Kirkham and Dr Michael Rubin
Description
What should we eat? Is it wrong to eat animal products? How should we eat? Do my food choices make any difference to issues like climate change and world hunger? Join Philosophers Nin Kirkham and Michael Rubin as they discuss possible answers to some of today’s pressing questions around food.
Audio presentation
Central control of appetite
Presenter
Dr Jeremy Smith, School of Human Sciences
Description
Why is my brain telling me I am hungry? What happens to the brain during prolonged hunger and starvation?  Jeremy’s work focusses on kisspeptin neurons and represents an exciting new field of neuroscience. The recent discovery of humans lacking kisspeptin signalling and their phenotype has sparked scientists to explore the actions of these neurons.
Audio presentation
Panel discussion: food for thought
Presenter
Hackett Professor Kadambot Siddique, Professor Anu Rammohan, Dr Andrew Guzzomi, Assistant Professor Siobhan Hickling and UWA student Lachlan Hunter.
Description
In this panel discussion, key researchers and industry experts will explore how we can sustainably produce enough high-quality, healthy food to feed the world in the face of population growth and climate change. They will examine the whole chain of events influences the food on our plates: from environment to agriculture, policy to production, nutritional trends to diet. You will come away from this event with a better understanding of present and future issues food production, the environmental and economic challenges of feeding a growing population and insight into how our food will change over the next 30 years.
Audio presentation