Graeme Martin

Emeritus Professor, BSc(Agric) PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M087), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile

Biography

I was born in 1951 and grew up on sheep/cereal farm in Western Australia (WA). I graduated in Agricultural Science (Hons I) at the University of WA in 1975 and gained my doctorate in reproductive endocrinology in 1981. I then worked for two years at the INRA Station de Physiologie de la Reproduction at Nouzilly (France) and for three years at the Medical Research Council’s Reproductive Biology Unit in Edinburgh (UK). In 1986, I returned to Perth (WA) to take up a joint position as Lecturer in Animal Science (The University of WA) and Research Scientist (CSIRO Division of Animal Production). I became full-time at the University in 1996 and, by 2001, I was promoted to Professor (Chair).

Roles and responsibilities

Leadership in teaching and research in livestock science and agprucltural science

Future research

UWA Future Farm 2050
https://www.ioa.uwa.edu.au/future-farm-2050
Imagine the ideal farming system for 2050, but do it now!
And show that it can be profitable to mix crop production, animal production and ecosystem restoration.
Why 2050? We will soon need to feed 50% more people without destroying the planet.

Funding overview

Almost all of my work has been funded by competitive research grants (Australian Research Council, National Health & Medical Research Council, Rural Research & Development Corporation, Meat & Livestock Australia). Total (excluding student scholarships, external grants): Au$7+ million. I have trained 39 PhD students to completion.

Previous positions

2013-14

Visiting Professor, Nuffield Dept of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Oxford University

2007-2013
Head, School of Animal Biology 1978-79
Tutor, Department of Animal Science & Production, Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia.
2005-2006
Chair, Academic Board and Academic Council of the University
2003
Dean, Postgraduate Research School, of the University
2003-2004
Deputy Chair, Academic Board and Academic Council of the University
2002-2003
Dean of the Faculty of Natural & Agricultural Sciences
2002-2020
Professor, Faculty of Sciences (School of Animal Biology), The University of Western Australia
1996-2000
Associate Professor, Faculty of Agriculture (Animal Science), The University of Western Australia
1990-1996
Joint Appointment
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Agriculture (Animal Science), The University of Western Australia;
Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Division of Animal Production, Floreat Park, Western Australia.
1986-1989
Joint Appointment
Lecturer, School of Agriculture (Animal Science), The University of Western Australia;
Research Scientist, CSIRO Division of Animal Production, Floreat Park, Western Australia.
1984-1986
Research Scientist
Reproductive Biology Unit, Medical Research Council, Edinburgh, UK.
1982-1984
Research Fellow (Australian Meat Research Committee)
Station de Physiologie de la Reproduction, Institut Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique, France.

1980-1981
Technician (Australian Meat Research Committee)
Department of Animal Science & Production, Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia.

Current projects

• Immune-system physiology in sheep that are bred to be resistant to gastro-intestinal worms

• Reproduciton responses of sheep to dietary phyto-oestrogens

 

Industrial relevance

I have always been embedded in an industry context. For 40 years, I studied how the brain controls reproduction, with a particular focus on responses to environmental factors, mostly in sheep but also in goats, emus, marsupials and African animals. About 15 years ago, I pioneered the concept of “clean, green and ethical" management of farm animals. About 15 years ago, I initiated "UWA Future Farm 2050", a project that aims to transform a commercial sheep/cereal farm into 'the farm of the future' (http://www.ioa.uwa.edu.au/future-farm-2050). This project is part of an international network of such farm projects, the Global Farm Platform (http://www.globalfarmplatform.org).

Teaching overview

Although recently retired, I still offer my servcies as a teacher in animal production, animal reproduction, neuroscience, the future of food, and science communication.

Research

1) Environmental factors that affect reproduction – Our aim is to understand how interactions amng nutrition, pheromones, photoperiod, and stressors determine reproductive outcomes in sheep; this is the core of 'clean, green and ethical' animal management.

2) The sheep-worm-flystrike complex – The blowfly (Lucilia cuprina) is attracted to Merino sheep by diarrhoea that is caused by gastro-intestinal worms (helminths), a problem that costs the Australian wool and meat industries about $600m per year. Moreover, the traditional management tool for preventing flystrike, in which skin is cut from around the anus of young lambs (‘mulesing’), is not socially acceptable and is therefore very damaging to the national and international credibility of the industry. The biology is fascinating, being the outcome of the confluence of three very disparate genomes: a mammal, a worm and an insect. We are part of a team aiming to discover the immune system processes and genes that sheep use to resist worm infection and flystrike. Our aim is to find ways to breed sheep that are more resistant to both diseases so do not need to rely on medication or ‘mulesing’.

3) The Animal Welfare Collaborative (2018– ) – I am a founding member of the Administrative Council of this non-partisan ‘knowledge broker’ dedicated to improving animal welfare through the strong collective action of a wide variety of stakeholder groups. It is directed by Australian universities, who facilitate evidence-based discussions and measurable improvements to animal welfare.

Languages

English (Mother tongue)
French (fluent)
some Spanish

Education/Academic qualification

Animal Science, PhD, The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 26 Mar 1983

Agriculture, Bachelor of Science, The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 29 Mar 1975

External positions

Associate Member, Academie d’Agriculture de France

31 Jan 2019 → …

Editor-in-Chief, 'Reproduction, Fertility and Development', CSIRO Publishing

1 Aug 2015 → …

Adjunct Professor, Curtin University of Technology

Research expertise keywords

  • Reproduction—neuroscience, physiology, endocrinology, behaviour
  • Metabolic endocrinology
  • Nutrition and reproduction
  • Pheromones and reproduction
  • Clean, green and ethical animal production
  • Future farming systems, world food production

Industry keywords

  • Agriculture and Food

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