APRU Food Security Webinar Series 2024: Precision Agriculture and Food Shelf Life Extension in Asia-Pacific

Amidst a shifting post-pandemic landscape, there is a growing emphasis on regional efforts to extend the shelf life of food and foster collaboration in precision agriculture technology, as consumers increasingly seek locally sourced options and contemplate self-sustainable food systems. To address this new trend, the APRU Food Security Working Group was formed in 2023, striving to facilitate the process of forming new solutions by bringing out collective research capabilities and outcomes from the APRU network.  

The APRU Food Security Webinar Series 2024 is the first initiative conceived and developed by the WG, aiming to delve into regional technological advancements in two focal areas: 1) precision agriculture, and 2) agritech solutions for prolonging food shelf life. Join us for insightful discussions with invited speakers throughout the first half of 2024.

Session 1:
“AI-based Drone Mapping Solutions” & “Sustainable Cold Chain: Jelly Ice Cubes”
February 22 Thursday at 5pm (Vancouver, Los Angeles)
/ February 23 Friday at 9am (Singapore, Taipei) 
/ February 23 Friday at 11:30am (Adelaide)

The inaugural webinar is hosted by Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the University of California, Davis (UC Davis)

Dr. Bing Lu, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, SFU, “Investigating Blueberry Scorch Virus Infection Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-based Imagery and Deep Learning
Dr. Jiahan Zou, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis, “Sustainable Temperature Controls: A Critical Step for Ensuring Food Safety and Quality

Dr. Woo Soo Kim, Scientific Director, B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation (BCCAI), SFU
Dr. Ermias Kebreab, Professor and Sesnon Endowed Chair, Department of Animal Science, UC Davis

Dr. Gang Sun, Professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis

Download the Speakers’ Profiles and Abstracts

Session 2:
“AI in Agriculture” & “Sensory Tools to Improve Food Shelf-Life Evaluation”
May 1 Wednesday at 6pm (Vancouver, Los Angeles)
/ May 2 Thursday at 9am (Singapore, Taipei) 
/ May 2 Thursday at 10:30am (Adelaide) 

The 2nd webinar is hosted by National Taiwan University (NTU) and The University of Adelaide

Register Here

Dr. Shih-Fang Chen, Associate Professor, Department of Biomechatronics Engineering, NTU, “AI in Agriculture: From Field Plant Monitoring to Postharvest Quality Evaluation
Dr. Matthew Wilson, Senior Lecturer, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, “Sensory Tools to Improve Food Shelf-Life Evaluation

Prof. Ming-Ju Chen, Professor, Department of Animal Science and Technology, NTU
Dr. Matthew Knowling, Lecturer and Research Program Lead in Decision Agriculture, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide

Download the Speakers’ Profiles and Abstracts

Session 3
June 20 Thursday at 6pm (Vancouver, Los Angeles)
/ June 21 Friday at 9am (Singapore, Taipei) 
/ June 21 Friday at 10:30am (Adelaide) 

APRU Food Security Working Group

APRU Food Security Working Group was formed in 2023 by inaugural APRU member experts including: Professor Woo Soo Kim (Chair),  Simon Fraser University, Canada; Professor Ming-Ju Chen, National Taiwan University, Taiwan; Professor Thorsten Wohland, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Director Anne Lochoff, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Associate Professor Christopher Ford [Associate Professor Susan Bastian succeeded the role from March 2024], The University of Adelaide, Australia;  Professor Ermias Kebreab, UC Davis, USA. 

Bing Lu (Speaker)
Simon Fraser University

Dr. Bing Lu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. His research is focused on remote sensing (e.g., drone- and satellite-based imaging) and its applications in ecosystem monitoring. He has been trying to use remote sensing as an agritech for evaluating crop health and soil health and investigating the impacts of climate change and extreme events (e.g., heatwave, flooding).

Jiahan Zou (Speaker)
University of California, Davis

Dr. Jiahan Zou currently serves as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis. With an interest in sustainable bio-based functional materials, she has been engaged in research for over 11 years. As part of her doctoral work, Jiahan is a key inventor of “Jelly Ice” and has been instrumental in its development. She transformed this visionary idea into a tangible prototype in three years and is now leading the effort to transition Jelly Ice from a laboratory innovation to a practical, everyday application. 

Woo Soo Kim (Moderator)
Simon Fraser University

Prof. Woo Soo Kim is a Professor at the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering, Simon Fraser University, Canada. His research interests include advancing 3-D printing technologies and exploring their applications in engineering. He received B.Sc. degree from Yonsei University, M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea. He completed Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA.

Ermias Kebreab (Moderator)
University of California, Davis

Prof. Ermias Kebreab is the Sesnon Endowed Chair in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. He has conducted extensive research in developing strategies for using feed additives to reduce methane emissions from livestock. He received his B.S. in biology from the University of Asmara, followed by an M.S. in integrative biology and a Ph.D. in ecological modeling from the University of Reading, UK.

Shih-Fang Chen (Speaker)
National Taiwan University

Dr. Shih-Fang Chen is an associate professor in the Department of Biomechatronics Engineering at National Taiwan University. Her research focuses on applying image processing and spectral techniques to monitor plant status and evaluate quality. Specific research topics include plant growth monitoring, pest and disease identification, harvest time prediction, agricultural product grading, pesticide residue detection, and flavor prediction.

Matthew Wilson (Speaker)
The University of Adelaide

Dr. Matthew Wilson is a senior lecturer at The University of Adelaide with a research background in food quality and preservation, horticulture, new crop development, plant physiology and sustainability. His research focuses on understanding how environmental conditions influence primary production, and the resulting effects on food chemistry and sensory perception. He is interested in further investigating the factors determining food quality, as measured by microbiological, instrumental and human based means.

Ming-Ju Chen (Moderator)
National Taiwan University

Prof. Ming-Ju Chen is a Distinguished Professor at the National Taiwan
University (NTU). Her research interests include isolation and identification of
new bacteria and yeasts from different resources and application these strains in human food and animal feed. She also involves the development of a new platform to evaluate the functionality of probiotics and study the possible mechanism and pathway using multi-omics. She earned the PhD in Food Science and Technology at Ohio State University and Master in Animal Science at National Taiwan University.

Matthew Knowling (Moderator)
The University of Adelaide

Dr. Matthew Knowling is a lecturer and research program lead in Decision Agriculture at The University of Adelaide. His work aims to achieve sustainable agricultural futures. His expertise is in the use of process simulation models and data analytics to help farmers, businesses and policy makers better manage their resources in the face of uncertainty. An area of particular focus is his research using mathematical optimisation and data assimilation approaches to translate the many disparate data streams that are increasingly available in agriculture, into actionable information for decision makers.


For any inquiries regarding the webinar series, please reach out to [email protected]