About the School of Agriculture, Food and Ecosystem Sciences

Our School brings together a wide range of disciplines spanning from the study of ecosystem processes and management to agriculture, agribusiness, land and resource use and conservation, applied social sciences, soil sciences, crop and animal production, food and nutrition sciences.

Giovanni Turchini, wearing a suit and tie, standing in front of a bush
Professor Giovanni Turchini,
Head of School

Our staff and students work in urban, rural, and wildland settings in Australia and across the world, in partnership with policymakers, businesses, practitioners, industry and communities, to generate research and knowledge that is solution-oriented, impactful and useful for decision-making.

We recognise the complex interplay between human and environmental health, and between production and conservation. We work across various disciplines to tackle major global issues through world-renowned research, education and engagement.

Our vision

Science for flourishing environments and communities.

Our mission

Our purpose is to benefit people and nature through education and research in environmental and ecosystem sciences, sustainable agriculture, and healthy food systems.

We do this by:

  • Educating to foster leadership for sustainability
  • Developing insights and solutions for challenges of our time, such as biodiversity loss, urbanisation, climate change and food security
  • Forging and nurturing vibrant partnerships, including with government, industry and communities, and
  • Crossing boundaries of knowledge, disciplines, and local and global scales.

Our values

  • Community: We value and support diverse perspectives and cultures. We are at our best when collaborating in a spirit of respect, trust, generosity and belonging
  • Leadership: We show courage and accountability in all we do
  • Excellence: We thrive when doing outstanding and rigorous science. We hold each other to high scientific and teaching standards.
  • Creativity: We foster curiosity, discovery, and critical inquiry in scholarship
  • Sustainability: Our vision and mission are underpinned by a concern for the welfare of all people and nature. We work to make the world a better place.

Our history and future

Disciplines within the School have a long history in Victoria, with teaching and research in agriculture at Dookie Campus since 1886, in horticulture at Burnley Campus since 1891 and forest sciences at Creswick Campus since 1910. Building on these foundations, in January 2023 the School of Agriculture and Food and the School of Ecosystem and Forest Science merged to become one expanded and future-oriented school within the Faculty of Science named the School of Agriculture, Food and Ecosystem Sciences (SAFES).

We have a breadth of experience and capacity to address a wide range of issues including environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural practices, climate change, bushfires, food security, urban sustainability, livestock welfare, biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management, invasive species and biosecurity threats.

Our places

School staff are located across four University campuses – Parkville, Dookie, Burnley and Creswick – with excellent facilities for study and research, in the heart of Melbourne and regional Victoria.

This reach provides a unique opportunity for our students and researchers to work across campuses, collaborate on real-world issues and access a wider range of industry partnerships and internships.

We are collegial, responsible and collaborative. We acknowledge the deep links between people and Country in Aboriginal culture and the knowledge and understanding that Indigenous communities across the world bring to the study of ecosystems and their management.

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