New Head of SARDI
Affiliate Professor Pauline Mooney has taken the reins of Australia’s leading primary industry state research organization, the South Australian Research and Development Institute as its Executive Director.
Professor Mooney joined SARDI five years ago as Research Director, refocusing and reshaping SARDI as the State responds to evolving national research and development priorities.
For the past year Professor Mooney has been SARDI’s Deputy Executive Director.
Previously, Professor Mooney held a number of science leadership positions across a diverse range of disciplines from plant breeding and pre and post harvest physiology through to gene technologies and bioengineering. She has previously led significant horticulture, bioscience and food-related science programs in New Zealand and South Africa.
Her science background includes a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and Masters of Science spanning the fields of botany, genetics, microbiology, plant pathology and phycology at the University of Natal in South Africa, and a PhD majoring in molecular biology at Sydney University.
She replaces Affiliate Professor Rob Lewis, who has led SARDI for the past 17 years. Professor Lewis will continue to serve on significant private and public sector boards. Among new opportunities that Rob will be taking up is a role as the independent Chair of the Fisheries and Aquaculture National Priorities Forum.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Michael O’Brien said high calibre science can only happen with high calibre people and under Pauline’s direction SARDI will maintain its reputation for delivering quality applied science outcomes for primary industries.
“I am proud that SARDI science does not sit on the shelf, returning at least $3 for every dollar invested directly in its programs,” Minister O'Brien said.
“The Institute helps South Australia’s food industries earn export dollars for the State and delivers value for South Australians through research at every step of the food value chain from the sea and land to the supermarket and onto dinner tables around the world.
“The Institute is a leader in the fields of aquaculture, oceanography, climate applications, irrigated agriculture and gene function in both plant and animal spheres.”
Minister O’Brien said industry confidence in SARDI runs high with coinvestment partners from the Commonwealth and industry funding bodies investing $3 for every $1 invested by the South Australian Government in SARDI.