Friday, 30 January 2015

Groundbreaking ceremony for the Lloyd T. Evans Growth Facility at IRRI

On Tuesday (27 January 2015), ACIAR’s own Cecilia Honrado attended a special groundbreaking ceremony in the Philippines for the International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI) new state-of-the-art facility— the Lloyd T. Evans Plant Growth Facility. The facility is being built at IRRI headquarters in Los Baños with funding from the Australian Government through ACIAR.

Source: IRRI

Lloyd Evans is a fitting name for this facility, after the fundamental research contributions Dr Evans gave to plant and crop science, especially with the establishment of the Ceres phytotron, the artificially controlled environment research facility. Dr Evans’ work at Australia’s CSIRO for nearly 50 years, his Presidency of the Australian Academy of Science and his contributions at IRRI all highlight his dedication to the plant industry and the scientific community more broadly.

The new facility will include 8 controlled environment glasshouses, plant growth chambers, plant processing and potting laboratories, and a seed processing and storage facility. The glasshouses and plant growth chambers will enable researchers to manipulate temperature, relative humidity, light intensity, photoperiod systems, water management systems and atmospheric gases. This controlled environment will lead to a greater understanding of a wide-range of environments and how they impact on plant (particularly rice) growth and survival. This research is important as global climates evolve into the future; as it will ensure rice and other crops survive.

Source: IRRI

Cecilia was a guest speaker on behalf of the Australian Government and ACIAR, and was joined by Senator of the Republic of the Philippines, Cynthia Villar; Laguna Governor, Ramil Hernandez; and Deputy Director General for Research, Dr Matthew Morell. The event was celebrated with the filling and sealing of two time capsules – one to be opened 20 years from now, the second to be opened in 2060 during the 100th anniversary of IRRI’s founding. The event was well-received with a great turnout of local and international researchers and officials. Additional photos from the event can be viewed online here.

By Elise Crabb, External engagement and media presence officer, ACIAR

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