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CQUniversity Research Collaboration

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Dr. Surya P. Bhattarai

Associate Professor

Surya is a practical crop physiologist with extensive experience in applied agricultural research focused on crop adaption to abiotic stresses. Spices, condiments, pulses, grains, rice, cotton and sugarcane have all been assessed for improving crop water productivity, soil/nutrient management, and heat tolerance in tropical conditions. Surya obtained his PhD from CQUniversity Australia in 2005 in the field of crop physiology and water use efficiency; his Master’s in 1995 from University of Essex UK was on crop adaptation to climate change; and he completed a BSc Ag from Tribhuwon University Nepal in 1990. His position and research program are largely funded through industry collaborations, with projects following participatory methods to ensure industry impact. 

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Dr. Sabine Tausz-Posch

Senior Lecturer

Sabine is a Senior Lecturer in Agriculture (Plant Science) at CQUniversity. Previously she held positions at the University of Birmingham, UK, from 2017 to 2018 and The University of Melbourne from 2009 to 2017. Sabine’s research aims at identifying plant traits that are more resilient to environmental stresses and make better use of resources including water and nutrients. Sabine has (co)authored >45 published articles in international, Web of Science listed journals and she was Co-Chief Investigator of three multidisciplinary, cross-institutional grants funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and the Grains Research & Development Corporation. Sabine is also a keen teacher having delivered >20 units in diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and postgraduate studies. Sabine collaborates with AgriVentis through CQU internal research grant scheme in competitive Merit grant for evaluation of tropical pulses to elevated CO2 responses under different watering regimes

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Dr. Tieneke Trotter

Senior Lecturer

Tieneke is a crop and pasture agronomist who has a background in ecology and management of perennial weeds of pastures. Her Ph.D. was focussed on quantifying the distribution and spread of Nassella trichotoma, an emerging weed on the Northern Tablelands of NSW using remote sensing, GIS and population modelling. She also assessed the plant physiology and growth habits of this weed in this new environment and developed a BMP for the control of this weed species. Tieneke has worked on a number of research and consultancy projects utilising remote sensing, GIS and agri-tech to monitor the impacts of mining on the agricultural and natural environment. The agricultural environments assessed were from horticultural crops such as olives and wine grapes in the Hunter Valley, to cotton, corn, sorghum and perennial pastures (both improved and native) in Northern NSW and Central QLD. Tieneke collaborates in AgriVentis core funded projects, such as AgriVentis co-funded CRCNA on spicing up Northern Australia project and supervise AgriVentis funded postgraduates research students on spices and tropical pulses Tieneke assists AgriVentis in CQU’s various internal research grant schemes, e.g. FAPEX (spices extractions), in competitive linkage pilot project, also graze and grain from tropical pulses.

Dr. Mani Naiker
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Senior Lecturer

Mani holds a PhD in applied chemistry. His research work has primarily focused on the investigation of highly polar compounds (water solubles) for additional bioactivity studies (such as a such as antibacterial and anticancer). As such he has worked on devolving appropriate protocols for the isolation, purification and characterization of phytochemical(s) with health benefits through bioassay guided fractionation. Furthermore, identification of new compounds will potentially allow us to synthesize and the prepare more biologically active derivatives of these novel compounds. Over the course of his research career, he has built strong integrated professional networks across a large cross section of disciplines and industries.Mani collaborates with Agriventis supervising AgriVentis funded postgraduates research students on spices and tropical pulses, Postgraduate research operational cost support through the provision of funding and research materials, e.g. seed lines  and co-funding for the CQU internal research grant scheme by the cropping researchers in CQU e.g. CQU FAPEX grant, Merit grant, linkage pilot gran (6) for graze and grain from tropical pulses.

Joel Johnson
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Masters Candidate

Joel is a Masters’ student studying food chemistry. He received a Bachelor of Science (Applied Chemistry) with Distinction from CQUniversity in 2019. His Masters project is investigating the use of infrared spectroscopy for measuring the levels of health-benefitting compounds in Australian-grown pulses. He also conducts research in analytical chemistry and functional foods in collaboration with several industry partners. Joel collaborates in AgriVentis project through postgraduate research operational cost support by the provision of funding and research materials, e.g. seed lines for evaluation of quality attributed of various tropical pulses. ​

Sobia Ikram
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Ph.D. Candidate

Having completed a Masters in Plant Sciences at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan, in 2013, Sobia is now undertaking a PhD through CQUniversity, Australia. She served as a lecturer in GC Women University, Sialkot Pakistan (currently on study leave for her PhD), and has a strong background in plant sciences, agriculture, and teaching. She is inclined towards the interdisciplinary areas of plant sciences and is currently working on legume drought tolerance in rainfed cropping systems in Queensland. Sobia collaborates in Agriventis project through Agriventis funded postgraduates (PhD) research scholarship for characterisation of tropical pulses (Mungbean) traits for tolerance to drought and enhanced water use efficiency.

Pasmita Neupane
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Masters Candidate

Pasmita is a Master’s research student at Central Queensland University, Rockhampton Queensland. She is double degree holder in Master in Business Administration cum Master in Professional Accounting. She graduated from Tribhuwan University in Nepal with a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. Currently, she is working on grain and graze traits of tropical pulses in Northern Australia. Pasmita collaborates in Agriventis project through Agriventis funded postgraduates (MSc) research scholarship for evaluation of graze and grain traits in tropical pulses grown in northern Australia.

Janice Mani
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Ph.D. Candidate

Janice is a Chemistry PhD student studying the antioxidative and anticancer properties in selected Australian plants/crops . She holds a Masters degree in Chemistry (2018) and Bachelors of Science degree majoring in Biology and Chemistry (2014) from The University of the South Pacific (Fiji). Her research project aims to identify potential anticancer properties of Australian grown plants and crops through analytical chemistry and cell culture protocols and ultimately isolate and purify novel bioactive compound(s). Janice collaborates in AgriVentis project through postgraduate research operational cost support by the provision of funding and research materials, e.g. seed lines for evaluation of quality attributed of various Nigella seed lines grown in Northern Australian environments.

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Sanjaya Timilsina

Masters Candidate

Sanjaya is a Masters’ candidate studying the drought tolerance and early establishment of sesame in Central Queensland. His study includes assessment of drought tolerance, heat response, and the protection of breeders’ rights through usage of gamma radiation, which are particularly relevant to the establishment of a black sesame industry in Australia. He completed his Bachelors (Hons.) in Agricultural Science at Tribhuwan University, Nepal, in 2016. He has particular interest in abiotic stress physiology in broadacre crops. Sanjaya collaborates in Agriventis project through Agriventis funded postgraduates (MSc) research scholarship for characterization of black sesame genotypes traits for tolerance to drought and enhanced water use efficiency in Northern Australian Environment.   

Elena Hoyos
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Masters Candidate

Elena is a Masters by Research student at CQUniversity, North Rockhampton campus, studying the biochemical components of the northern Australian-grown black sesame as a source of health-benefitting compounds. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sciences of Bioengineering (2016) and a Diploma of Information Technology (2021) from Brighton College (BNE). Her research project aims to evaluate the typical levels of health-promoting compounds of the black sesame cultivated in the northern Australian region through analytical chemistry-based protocols, as well as assessing the variation of numerous sesame varieties grown under different environmental conditions. During her studies as an undergraduate student in bioengineering, various agriculture and technological research organisations sponsored her undergraduate project titled “morphological characterisation and structural analysis of chitosan-based edible films obtained by biotechnological methods”. Elena collaborates in AgriVentis project through Agriventis funded postgraduates (MSc) research scholarship for characterization of black sesame genotypes grown in northern Australia for oil quality and bioactive compound.   

Resham Bhattarai Paudel
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Research Assistant

Resham is currently pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Research at CQUniversity with a particular focus in cumin production in Northern Australia. She has been engaged with CQU cropping team in various projects since 2019 in field work, data handling, seed processing, seed storage, and evaluation of quality parameters. Resham has extensive experience in agriculture, working in the plant protection lab Lumle Agriculture & Research Centre; working with income generation for women through the fresh vegetable production and marketing (DCRDC); and consulting the farmers with technical support (Unnati Agrovet & Forest Service Centre). Resham provides Research technical support for AgriVentis core funding support project for evaluation of high value tropical cropping options. e.g. preliminary evaluation of AgriVentis germplasm (pulses, spices, oil seeds, grains) for tropical adaptation and field and technical support for CRCNA spicing up northern Australia project.

Isaac Cardillo  
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Research Worker

Isaac provides Research technical support for AgriVentis core funding support project for evaluation of high value tropical cropping options. E.g. preliminary evaluation of AgriVentis germplasm (pulses, spices, oil seeds, grains) for tropical adaptation and field and technical support for CRCNA spicing up northern Australia project