Researcher biography

Professor Ian Godwin has over 30 years' experience in plant biotechnology research, first undertaking sugar beet genetic engineering at Birmingham University in the UK in the 1980s. He joined UQ in 1990, holding an academic position in plant molecular genetics. In 2019 he joined QAAFI as Director of the Centre for Crop Science.

He leads research in the use of biotechnological tools for crop improvement, with emphasis on the sustainable production of grain crops. Major focus is on the improvement of crops for food, feed and bio-industrial end-uses. He has pioneered the use of GM and gene edited techniques in sorghum. Research projects include international collaborations with a focus on food security and plant genetic resource conservation with collaborators in Germany, Denmark, the United States, China, Ethiopia and Pacific Island countries. He is passionate about the public communication of science, and has spoken at many public events on genetics, GM plants and food, animal cloning, and the future of agriculture in a changing climate. In 2003 he was an ABC Science Media Fellow, and has appeared on ABC and BBC radio on numerous occasions.

His popular science book Good Enough to Eat?: Next Generation GM Crops was published by the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2019.

Areas of research