Associate Professor Max Shelton from the Faculty of Science, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences,
The University of Queensland will present "Five decades of leucaena R&D: Is it time to move on?" in a special SAFS and QAAFI seminar.

Interest in leucaena for beef production in northern Australia began in the 1950s, and the first cultivars were released in the 1960s; but it was not until the 1990s that there was large-scale uptake of leucaena pastures by graziers, and adoption has continued unabated. During that time, much has been learned about all aspects of the agronomy, management, and nutrition of this controversial plant. It is now considered the most productive and sustainable option for improving beef productivity in northern Australia. Max Shelton has been a major player in leucaena R&D&E, and will share some highlights and ‘lowlights’ of his 25 years of involvement.

Interest in leucaena for beef production in northern Australia began in the 1950s, and the first cultivars were released in the 1960s; but it was not until the 1990s that there was large-scale uptake of leucaena pastures by graziers, and adoption has continued unabated. During that time, much has been learned about all aspects of the agronomy, management, and nutrition of this controversial plant. It is now considered the most productive and sustainable option for improving beef productivity in northern Australia. Max Shelton has been a major player in leucaena R&D&E, and will share some highlights and ‘lowlights’ of his 25 years of involvement.


Associate Professor Max Shelton  

Associate Professor Max Shelton


Dr Shelton has thirty years experience in teaching and research in tropical pastures and agroforestry. He has supervised more than 30 Masters and PhD research students and many undergraduate student projects. Dr Shelton’s focus for research and professional activity has been the agronomy and management of tropical tree legume pastures, especially the feeding and nutrition of cattle fed leucaena diets in tropical regions of the world. Recent research activities have focussed on the issues of (a) establishment and planting configuration; (b) development of new leucaena cultivars for the grazing industry; (c) subclinical toxicity in ruminants fed leucaena around the world; (d) long-term sustainability of grazed leucaena pastures.  His research and development approach has been participatory with the grazing industry. This has ensured a high level of dissemination and adoption of research results. With colleagues, he has conducted over 30 courses on ‘Leucaena for Profit and Sustainability’ (LPS) for over 500 graziers and extension agents in northern Australia.

Dr Shelton has been Chief Investigator of many projects valued at more than AUD$6M, with funds obtained from both national (e.g. Meat and Livestock Australia) and international (e.g. ACIAR) agencies. He is Chief Investigator of five MLA supported projects (current or recently completed) valued >$1.5 M; and he is Project Leader of an ACIAR sponsored project (2011-2016) that aims to improve smallholder cattle fattening outcomes using high protein tree legume forage valued at $1.5 M.  The project will be focus on NTB and NTT Provinces of Indonesia. He is therefore extensively experienced with the management of research projects and is skilled in the process of team building.

Publications include 5 books (joint editorship), more than 140 papers published or submitted to refereed journals or in edited chapters of books or proceedings, conference papers, and monographs. 

Dr Shelton has been involved with the release to industry of 4 new cultivars of tree legumes.

About QAAFI Science Seminar Series

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture & Food Innovation (QAAFI) has been hosting a high-profile weekly seminar series across the disciplines of agriculture, food and nutrition science since 2014. With a range of speakers from Australia and abroad, the series explores how high-impact science will significantly improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors.

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Venue

Room: 
Large Seminar Room (3.142), Level 3 Qld Bioscience Precinct Building 80, St Lucia