Associate Professor Matthew Harrison is an award-winning scientist based at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture in Launceston, Australia. Matt is internationally renowned for his work in improving the sustainability of agricultural and land-use systems through innovative economic, environmental and social solutions to demand-driven problems. His team uses systems thinking to develop skills, technologies and practices aimed at improving food production, enterprise profitability, social licence to operate and long-term agri-food sustainability. The impact of his work on carbon removals, greenhouse gas emissions, the climate crisis and food security will have enduring benefits for decades to come.
Matt is the Director of the Carbon Storage Partnership, a multi-million-dollar transdisciplinary initiative that is developing environmentally-contextualised and socially-acceptable pathways aimed at profitably progressing the entire Australia livestock sector to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Matt has long engendered a culture of research excellence, as shown by his mentoring and supervision of colleagues, his training of the next generation of scientists, and his inclusive approach to leading diverse teams of people. He has supervised numerous Honours, Masters and PhD scholars through to successful completion, and he welcomes enquiries relating to research supervision or collaboration. As an egalitarian, he regularly advocates for social equality of people he works with.
The knowledge, skills and technologies developed by Matt and his co-workers have contributed significantly to the University of Tasmania’s ‘well-above world standard’ Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) rankings in ‘Agriculture, Land and Farm Management’ and ‘Crop and Pasture Production’.
After completing undergraduate degrees in Applied Science, Plant Science (Hons) and Civil Engineering (Hons), Matt conducted a PhD with the Australian National University while based at the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Canberra, Australia.
From 2009, he conducted post-doctoral fellowships at the CSIRO in Canberra, Australia, working with various stakeholders to develop fit-for-purpose, legitimate and sustainable livestock production systems. Matt later worked at the ‘Institut Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique’ (INRA) in Montpellier, France, and during this period he spent extensive time at Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Des Moines, USA, and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.
Since completing his undergraduate degrees, Matt worked with- and was tutored by preeminent scientists in crop breeding, systems modelling, agronomy, computer-, plant- and animal-science. His post-doctoral research integrated the physics, maths and computer science from his engineering background into agricultural science. It was truly a multi-disciplinary training pathway.
Matt joined the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture in 2012 at the Cradle Coast Campus in Burnie, Australia. In 2022, he relocated to Launceston in support of the University’s strategic plan to grow a critical mass of world-class plant scientists in the north of the State.