Listen in #1. WoodChat Episode 4 launched: Gondwana Genomics revolutionising seedling selection

The WoodChat podcast series continues to highlight Australia’s forestry innovations. In Episode 4, hosts Sam and Victoria talk to Robert Southerton, managing director at Gondwana Genomics, about the genetic DNA testing system the company developed.

Gondwana Genomics’ world-leading technology can predict key commercial attributes of a eucalyptus tree in the early stages of its life, using just a single seedling leaf.

“Breeding trees is extremely difficult. Trees take a long time to grow and display their performance and traits — sometimes five or ten years,” said Robert Southerton

“What we want to do is speed up that process. We can do that through DNA testing now, which allows us to breed with much greater accuracy.”

Previous episodes of WoodChat have covered topics such as the biophilia hypothesis and its influence in workplace and residential design; Professor Jeff Morrell’s plans for Australia’s National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life; and the potential of the Forest Climate Risk Tool, a free, interactive, online tool developed by the CSIRO with funding from FWPA.

Make sure to keep an ear out … there are plenty of interesting topics about to hit the airwaves! Future topics will explore the use of modern technologies, such as drones, in forest management; expected industry changes, innovations and the consequent implications and opportunities for future workers; and the value of RFID tracking systems in prefabricated timber construction.

The WoodChat series represents FWPA’s commitment to exploring new ways of communicating industry news and innovations. Each episode in the series includes in-depth conversations with experts on recent discoveries and innovations.

You can listen to WoodChat on SoundCloud and iTunes.