A 60% boost in productivity is needed by 2050 for Agriculture to sustainably support the world’s growing population. This is challenging, as agricultural production is threatened by a changing climate, limited arable land, scarce water resources, and the ever-increasing pressure of pests and diseases. To combat these challenges agriculture desperately requires new approaches for breeding future food and fibre crops.
Dr. Vivien (Viv) Rolland is a passionate and dedicated scientist whose research focuses on designing and breeding crops of the future. He uses microimaging, biotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI) to capture and interpret images of key crop characteristics which are invisible to the naked eye and or too complex for humans to interpret alone.
Viv is also a very keen communicator. He shares his fascination and enthusiasm for science by engaging with a wide variety of audiences ranging from school kids and teachers to the Governor General of Australia. His research has been featured in various media outlets such as ABC Landline, ABC radio, as well as overseas outlets. Viv has participated in debates and webinars about the importance of diversity in science and is a strong advocate for Indigenous-led science and project co-design.
Viv was awarded a 2019 CSIRO Julius Career Award and a 2023 Nuffield Scholarship. Gaining his PhD from the University of Vienna, Austria, in 2012 he is currently a Senior Research Scientist and Team Leader at CSIRO. Viv was also awarded the 2022 ACT Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year!
Do you want to know more about Viv’s recent research? His work is highlighted in this blog and video which showcases the development of ‘HairNet’, an artificial intelligence tool that can score leaf hairiness in cotton to assist breeders in identifying plants with beneficial traits. You can also learn more about the images that Viv generated for CSIRO’s most recent recruitment campaign in this blog and this video.