Research on feeding the world wins PM’s Prize for Science

By John Pickrell 22 October 2015
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An Australian scientist has developed drought-resistant crops and modelled the process of photosynthesis.


WORK ON UNDERSTANDING photosynthesis and improving crop yields in a warming world has won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

In a career that has spanned more than 40 years, Professor Graham Farquhar’s research has transformed our understanding of photosynthesis, led to the development of drought-resistant wheat varieties and probed a mystery about declining evaporation rates and wind speeds around the world.

The winners were announced on Wednesday night at an awards dinner hosted by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Parliament House in Canberra.

The top prize of $250,000 went to Graham, who is based at the Australian National University. Watch the video to learn more about the winning research. 

The full list of winners:

Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

Graham Farquhar, Australian National University
Feeding the world and asking where the wind went

Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation

Graeme Jameson, University of Newcastle
How trillions of bubbles earned nearly $100 billion for Australia

Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year

Cyrille Boyer, University of New South Wales
Making polymers with light

Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year

Jane Elith, University of Melbourne
Where are the animals we want to conserve and the invaders we want to control?

Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools

Ken Silburn, Casula High School
Bringing students to science

Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools

Rebecca Johnson, Windaroo State School, Logan, Brisbane
Improved primary science teaching at no extra cost