GRDC appoints new head of applied research and development

image of Peter Carberry
Peter Carberry has been appointed to the position of General Manager Applied Research and Development at the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

A globally recognised and respected research leader has been appointed to the position of General Manager Applied Research and Development (R&D) at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Peter Carberry, who is currently the Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), based in India, will commence in his new role in May 2020.

In announcing the appointment, GRDC Managing Director Dr Steve Jefferies said Dr Carberry would bring to the GRDC a wealth of expertise and experience.

“Peter is highly recognised internationally as a research leader, and his specific expertise is in crop physiology, the development and application of farming systems simulation models, and the use of information systems in agriculture,” Dr Jefferies said.

“He was a key developer of the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) modelling framework, which is still used as a research tool today in many of GRDC’s agronomy-related investments and by growers and advisers through decision support tools such as Yield Prophet®.”

Prior to his current position, Dr Carberry served at ICRISAT as Deputy Director General – Research, from January 2015, and as the Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals. Before joining ICRISAT, he was a Chief Research Scientist at Australia’s CSIRO.

Australian growers may know ICRISAT as the home of grains that are important to Australia. Its genebank houses more than 41,000 sorghum lines, 20,000 chickpea lines and 15,000 peanut lines. It has provided important genetic resources to the GRDC’s breeding programs, including more than 5000 chickpea lines.

Dr Carberry was raised on a cropping farm near Narrabri in north west New South Wales and completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Sydney.

After graduating, his initial intentions were to return to the family farm, but he instead undertook a PhD on crop physiology at the University of Sydney with his field work undertaken at ICRISAT, India. That early influence of witnessing deep poverty, smallholder agriculture and applied international research set a path for his future, distinguished career.

Having lived and worked in India for the past five years, Dr Carberry and his wife Anne are keen to return to Australia.

“Peter has a strong affinity for Australian grain growers and is passionate about the contribution research, development and extension makes to the prosperity of the grains industry and Australia more broadly,” Dr Jefferies said.

“With support from the GRDC’s Applied R&D team and GRDC staff across the organisation, he is excited at the prospect of being able to contribute in a meaningful and positive way to the enduring profitability of our growers and the future of the Australian grains industry as a whole.”

Dr Carberry, who will be based in the GRDC’s Toowoomba office, replaces Brondwen MacLean who had been at the GRDC in a variety of roles for more than 20 years before her retirement earlier this year. Ken Young has been acting General Manager Applied R&D since then and will remain in that role until Dr Carberry begins duties in May 2020.

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