Scientific Advisory Committee (2017)

The Scientific Advisory Committee provided independent assessment of the Centre's research activities and progress against its KPI's and research milestones. Its membership had the experience to advise on new initiatives and research opportunities, and to provide specialised assessment of technological developments.

Professor Ian Small, Chair
Director, ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology
The University of Western Australia

Professor Small’s PhD at Edinburgh University (awarded in 1988) was followed by a career with France’s National Agronomy Research Institute (INRA). He held the Vice-Director position at the Plant Genetics & Breeding Station in Versailles and the Plant Genomics Unit in Evry. In 2005 he was awarded a WA State Premier’s Research Fellowship and moved to Perth to become the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology early in 2006. His research interests include the study of gene expression and metabolism relating to energy systems in plants.

Professor Marilyn Anderson
Head of Laboratory
LaTrobe University, Victoria

After completing a BSc Honours at The University of Melbourne and a PhD in Biochemistry at La Trobe University, Professor Anderson spent seven years in the United States working on diabetes at the University of Miami and oncogenes at Cold Spring Harbor. She is a Professor of Biochemistry at La Trobe University and an Associate Professorial Fellow in the Botany School at The University of Melbourne. Professor Anderson is a founding scientist of Hexima. She was appointed Hexima’s Chief Science Officer in July 2009. Professor Anderson was a director at South East Water Limited for over 10 years prior to her appointment to the board of City West Water in 2008. She was appointed a Director of Hexima on 23 November 2010. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professor Deborah Delmer
Professor Emeritus of Biology
University of California, Davis, USA

Professor Delmer received her B.A. degree with honours in bacteriology in 1963 from Indiana University and her Ph.D. in cell biology in 1968 from The University of California San Diego. She has held faculty positions at Michigan State University, The Hebrew University, and the University of California Davis. In 2004, she received from the American Chemical Society the Anselme Payen Award in recognition of excellence in the science and chemical technology of cellulose. Professor Delmer also served as President of the American Society of Plant Biologists and in 2004 she was elected to membership in the US National Academy of Sciences. From 2002-2007, she served as Associate Director for Food Security for the Rockefeller Foundation involved with grant making and policy relating to the role of biotechnology in developing world agriculture.

Professor Peter Ellis
Professor of Carbohydrate Biochemistry
Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences Division, King's College London, UK

Professor Ellis has a specific interest in the functionality of dietary polysaccharides (starch and non-starch polysaccharides or NSP) with respect to the bioavailability of nutrients and prevention and treatment of disease (e.g. diabetes, coronary heart disease, arthritis). Much of the work focuses on the rheological behaviour of water-soluble NSP in the gastrointestinal tract and also the properties of supramolecular structures (starch, plant cell walls), particularly in relation to the kinetics of nutrient absorption (e.g. glucose) and the so called 'glycaemic index'.

Professor Herman Höfte
Research scientist, Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, Institut National de la Recherche
Agronomique (INRA)-AgroParisTech, Versailles, France.

Professor Höfte received his PhD degree at the University of Ghent (Belgium) in 1988 on the study of the insecticidal crystal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis and the generation of the first insect-resistant transgenic tobacco plants. He carried out his post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Diego, on the intracellular targeting of vacuolar membrane proteins in plants using aquaporins as a model system. Professor Höfte’s current research interests are the synthesis and assembly of plant cell walls using molecular genetic approaches in the model plants Arabidopsis and Brachypodium. He has published over 90 articles in internationally refereed journals. He was the director of the Laboratory of Cell Biology at the Versailles center from September 2002 to December 2009.

Professor Kenneth Keegstra
Scientific Director, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and University Distinguished Professor
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology & Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, USA

Professor Keegstra is a renowned plant biologist and an expert in plant cell wall biochemistry and biofuels. He has extensive management and scientific experience, having served for 14 years as director of the DOE-funded Plant Research Laboratory at MSU and as faculty member in the Botany Department at UW-Madison for 15 years. In 2014, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences for his work in investigating the biogenesis of chloroplasts and the biosynthesis of plant cell walls.