Invited Speaker
Dr. Xia (Emma) Liang & Dr. Shu Kee Lam (Joint Talk)

Dr. Xia (Emma) Liang & Dr. Shu Kee Lam (Joint Talk)

Faculty of Veterinary & Agricultural Sciences
The University of Melbourne, Australia
Speech Title: Joint Talk: Evidence-based Nitrogen Indexes for Sustainable Agro-food Systems

Abstract: Reactive nitrogen (Nr) is essential for agricultural production and human nutrition, but also leads to pollution. Nr pollution induced by the agro-food systems are the result of millions of diverse producers/products worldwide produced under vastly different climates, soils and agronomic management. To identify effective solutions under this heterogeneity, we present a methodological framework to build evidence-based nitrogen (N) indexes for agro-food systems at varying levels of detail and complexity. It allows comprehensive assessment of Nr loss for individual food items, a robust prediction of associated environmental and socioeconomic impacts for less polluting, more profitable, and thus more sustainable agro-food systems.

Keywords: Reactive nitrogen, agroecosystems, evidence-based indexes

Biography: Dr. Xia (Emma) Liang is an early career researcher in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne. Her main research field is on sustainable nitrogen (N) management through the “5 Ps” principles (Production, People, Planet, Policy and Partnerships) with multidimensional N metrics (i.e., N use efficiency, virtual N factor, N footprint, N neutrality, reactive N spatial intensity, N boundary, N price and N equity). She has built interdisciplinary background in life cycle assessment, soil science, environmental and food science, big data analytics, econometrics and GIS analysis. She have published 13 peer-refereed articles in highly-reputed journals including: Global Environmental Change (IF 9.523), Nature Communications (IF 14.919), Nature Food (IF not available yet), and Journal of Cleaner Production (IF 9.297). In addition, she has successfully communicated research findings to a wide audience by participation in outreach activities and publication in high profile media outlets such as Australasian Science, Australian Associated Press, The Conversation and the Pursuit.

Dr. Shu Kee Lam’s research focuses on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in agroecosystems, including soil-plant interactions under climate change (elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration) and mitigation of direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from various agroecosystems using enhanced-efficiency fertilizers. He also has expertise in global data synthesis including meta-analysis. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, including in Nature Communications, One Earth and Global Change Biology, with >2700 citations. He is a recipient of the ICM AgriFood Award (Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering) and the IPNI (International Plant Nutrition Institute) Scholar Award, and an Editorial Board member of Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment and Plant and Soil.