Day Two - Tuesday 24 May


Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country


Plenary Session- Discussion Panel – – Interdisciplinary Research

This plenary session our panellists will explore the pros and cons of interdisciplinary research and how to make it work.

Jennifer Bond - Moderator
Ben Stodart
Holly Randell-Moon
Anthony Saliba

4:00-4:05Get a cup-of-tea break


Concurrent Themed Session (2)

Open themed research papers
Moderator: Anna Du Chesne

4:10  Mahir Habib

Cattle Information Events - Extending data schemas to meet the needs of the Australian red meat industry

Last forty years, data-driven genetic improvement resulted in a doubling of milk yield. Improved data standards enhance productivity, costs, and market access. Beef production has seen lower rates of genetic improvement and would benefit from data standardisation. An event-based data schema will improve the capture, storage, and consumption of performance recording data. The International Community for Animal Recording (ICAR) developed a livestock data schema. Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) extended ICAR's schema to deliver data standardisation. This article demonstrates how those schemas can be enhanced, modified, and used as event information messaging framework for data management and reduce costs involved in sharing information between the systems. The new schema LEI (Livestock Event Information) can improve traceability, genetic improvement, and business management, allowing third-party equipment and software manufacturers to utilise the data schemas to standardize their data flows. In future, LEI can be updated to include other agriculture sectors e.g., cropping.

4:26   Sadia Nodi

Smartphone Image-based Munsell Soil Color Classification using Deep Learning

Soil color provides a valuable insight into soil assessment/classification for farmers. Traditionally, the Munsell color system, with categorized values of hue, value, and chroma, has been used to label the soil color by comparing the soil sample against the color chips. Such a manual visual checking procedure is error-prone and subjective. Researchers proposed different ways to digitalize the Munsell soil color for soil classification. However, they either rely on extra sensors and a calibration card or need specific setting such as a shading bucket. This research is to demonstrate the performance of deep learning models on soil color estimation from phone images captured naturally.  Multi-layer convolutional neural networks are constructed and optimized through training. It shows good potential to provide a simple, fast, and inexpensive characterization of Munsell soil color. Eventually, this research can assist Australian farmers in monitoring soil health and making timely decisions for better crop productivity.

4:37   Nan Wang

Modelling land use changes in wheat production in key variables- Wheat Sheep Zone

As the primary producers of agricultural products, farmers' decisions affect grain output, sown area, and land use. Most studies believe that farmers' expected prices of agricultural products are the main factors affecting their decision-making. For the wheat-sheep region, the expected prices of wheat and wool and the expected relative prices of wheat and wool may affect the area and output of their respective agricultural products. The results are discussed in view of guiding the decision on land use. This paper conducts regression analysis on relevant panel data for the period 2000-2020 to explore the response of wheat sown area in the wheat-sheep zone to prices and other factors based on the Nerlove Model, to investigate the factors that affect farmers' decision-making on land use. The results indicated that the current sown area of wheat is greatly affected by the previous sown area. However, although the price of wheat in the previous period positively impacted the sown area, the impact was not significant. The short-term price elasticity was small; the long-term price elasticity was more significant than the short-term, which implies that the market price of wheat fluctuates, and farmers usually cannot adjust the sown area of wheat in a short period according to the market price signal to adapt to the changes in market supply and demand.

4:46   Dwi Atminarso

Evidence of fish community fragmentation in a tropical river upstream and downstream of a dam despite the presence of a fishway

Rapid human population growth has increased demand for water supply, food security, electricity, and flood mitigation worldwide. To address these challenges, the Indonesian government has invested in the expansion of water infrastructure. However, there is substantial evidence that globally, this infrastructure fragments fish populations and impacts on the persistence of migratory fish. To document the impact of barriers to Indonesian fish, we conducted experimental fishing using three different gears (gillnets, castnets, and bait traps) in the Komering River at five sites upstream and downstream of Perjaya Weir.  The study revealed a significant difference in the fish community upstream and downstream of Perjaya Weir with 13 of 36 species being found only downstream of the weir and five species only found above the weir. The results indicated that the Perjaya Weir hinders fish migration, and the fishway facilitates movement for a small proportion of the fish community.

4:57  Ghulam Hassan

Groundwater a driver for boosting irrigated agriculture to support national growth now under threats in Punjab Pakistan

Irrigated agriculture is the most economically important sector in Pakistan, contributing 26% to the Gross Domestic Product and earning about 75% of the foreign exchange. Agriculture provides employment opportunities to 54% of the labour force for a population increasing at an annual rate of 3% and contributes to economic development of the country. It underpins food-security and the livelihood of a multitude of tiny rural farming communities. Agriculture is dependent on the availability of water and recent studies have revealed that groundwater contributes to approximately 40-50% of irrigation water requirements. Factors such as climatic change, small numbers of dams, poor governance, urbanisation, industrialisation, lack of awareness and capacity, lack of scientific knowledge/use of innovation, non-effective regulation, uneven distribution of surface water, and the increasing population are continuously depleting the groundwater table. More than 1.2 million tube wells installed in different areas of Punjab are continuously extracting groundwater, threatening the sustainability of irrigated agriculture in the province. Access to groundwater allows the underprivileged population to conserve it for agriculture, which not only increases their production and income, but also reduces their vulnerability against external pressures. Excessive use of groundwater has resulted in severe impacts in water quality and has also increased the frequency of water-borne diseases, resulting in more than 70% of diseases being water-borne. Groundwater has resulted in a green revolution in Punjab, however it is under serious threat due to unplanned excessive pumping of water, deterioration of quality and increased costs due to falling water tables.

5:15   Madeleine Ray

Parasites of Australian native ducks and how they influence measures of stress

Birds play a significant role in the spread of diseases, as they can fly and migrate over great distances in short periods of time. Waterbirds are of particular interest to parasitologists, as it has been suggested that they are exposed to a greater diversity of parasites as they use both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Moreover, waterbirds aggregate in large numbers in wetlands, which further accelerates intra- and inter-specific transmission of parasites. In Australia, the knowledge of parasite species infecting wild waterbird populations is lacking with the last major piece of work being published over forty years ago. Furthermore, there have been only a few studies that have examined how infection with haemosporidian parasites influences haematological indices of stress in birds. By conducting necropsies, helminth parasites can be identified and illustrated. While sampling independent measures of stress can be used to determine whether parasite infection affects stress indicators.

5:31   Rabin Dulal

A comparative review and future direction of object identification techniques

Object detection and identification is an easy task for a human. However, it is not easy for computers. Though it is a complex task, recent research and publications have achieved success in the detection and identification of biometrics and other various patterns and other objects. Moreover, there are many publications for object identification, but they failed to provide a comparative and comprehensive study of available algorithms. This paper aims to provide a profound discussion on object identification. Secondly, this paper covers the latest industry practices for identification. After careful comparison and study of past and present techniques, this paper will project the future path and goals. Most of the earlier papers cover technical details and techniques, but this will cover the latest projects, strengths, and weaknesses of the algorithms, challenges as well. In addition to this, we provide a theoretical justification for the development of the robustness objection identification system.

5:40  Moderator summary and thank you


Short Snack Break


Plenary Session - Discussion – You can’t ask that!

In this plenary session our panellists will answer questions about research and the HDR program that students have submitted anonymously in advance,

Emmaline Lear- Research Development Officer (Moderator)
Melanie Massaro
Judith Anderson
Paul Humphries
Paul Shaw

6:55-7:00Short Break


Keynote Speakers
Dr Susie Miles and Dr Nicholas Merton

Accessing leadership: Creating a future that wasn’t going to happen anyway

The transformational leadership course, “Being a Leader: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model” has been offered in universities as diverse as Canada, Kenya and Vietnam over the last decade or so. It has a revolutionary approach which leaves participants actually being effective leaders, rather than merely knowing more about leadership.

This keynote will answer the following question: “How is it possible to teach leadership in a way that not only informs students about leadership but also transforms them into actually being effective leaders?"

Susie Miles and Nicholas Merton will share their experience and demonstrate the methodology used in the ‘Being a Leader’ course, which defines leadership as “making a future happen that wasn’t going to happen anyway”. The course is being delivered primarily to doctoral and early career researchers as part of a wider commitment to promote inclusive leadership at the University of Manchester, UK.


End of Day Two