Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre

Professor of Grain Protein Chemistry appointed

Friday 09 May 2014

Professor Wujun Ma has been confirmed as the AEGIC's Professor of Grain Protein Chemistry. He will lead the joint research program between the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) and Murdoch University, focused on ensuring Australia’s export grains meet the requirements of international customers.

AEGIC Managing Director Richard Price congratulated Prof Ma on his appointment.

“Prof Ma has acted in the role guiding the Grain Protein Chemistry Capacity Building (GPCCB) program since its inception last August and we are delighted to formally appoint him to this position.”

He also welcomed Dr Hollie Webster who joins Prof Ma as the project’s first Post-Doctoral Research Fellow.

“Understanding the protein content and composition of wheat and other grain food crops, and how that affects end-use in our major export markets is essential to increasing the international competitiveness of Australia’s export grains,” Mr Price said.

Director of the Australia-China Centre for Wheat Improvement (ACCWI) Professor Rudi Appels of Murdoch University, also welcomed Prof Ma’s appointment.

“In addition to his internationally renowned standing in grain protein chemistry, Prof Ma brings a worldwide network of key contacts in wheat research.”

“Murdoch University is recognised as one of the top crop science universities in the world and we have a long-term strategic commitment to wheat improvement and a mission to improve productivity in a process which maintains grain quality.

The GPCCB project, under Wujun’s expert supervision, will assist us to achieve this goal.”

Prof Appels said Murdoch University was proud to partner AEGIC on the project designed to ensure Australian grain remains the product of choice for the nation’s existing and emerging export markets.

In addition to the professorial and Dr Webster’s appointment the program will support two post-doctorate positions and 10 PhD students specialising in grain protein structure, function and genetics.

Dr Webster’s research is focusing on better understanding the genetic determinants of drought and frost tolerance and their effects on grain quality.


Prof Wujun Ma BSc (Hons); MSc (Plant Breeding and Genetics); PhD Grain Protein Chemistry

Wujun holds a Masters in Science from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and a PhD from the University of Southern Queensland. He has held roles with the University of Arizona, CSIRO Plant Industries and DAFWA.

Wujun is the co-director of ACCWI at Murdoch University. Wujun has published more than 80 peer-reviewed research papers in international journals. His wheat protein research has been cited in more than 1800 instances. He is a member of a number of national and international committees and an associate editor of three international journals.

During August 2013 AEGIC and Murdoch University appointed Wujun as the acting Professor of Grain Protein Chemistry. He was formally appointed to the role in April 2014.

Dr Hollie Webster B.Rur.Sc (Hons); PhD Wheat Molecular Genetics

Dr Hollie Webster is a wheat molecular geneticist with a Bachelor of Rural Science from UNE and a PhD from Murdoch University.

Hollie holds a jointly-appointed Post-Doctoral Research Fellow position with Murdoch University’s Australia-China Centre for Wheat Improvement (ACCWI) and the Australian Grains Export innovation Centre (AEGIC). 

Hollie carry outs research to identify and characterise key genes involved in response to drought and frost stress in wheat, many of which significantly impact grain quality.

She is also involved in a suit of applied and fundamental research projects including marker development for application in molecular wheat breeding; gene discovery; germplasm diversity; genome sequencing; and development of novel grain quality diagnostics for application on-farm and in the supply grain. 

Hollie has a broadacre cropping background in the Western Australian wheatbelt and has commercial experience as a production and research agronomist in NSW and QLD. 

 140513 Small Murdoch And AEGIC Group

Caption: AEGIC Chairman Terry Enright (first left), AEGIC Managing Director Richard Price and Murdoch University’s Prof Rudi Appels (far right) congratulate Professor of Grain Protein Chemistry Wujun Ma (centre) and Post-doctorate Research Fellow Dr Hollie Webster on their appointments to the Grain Protein Capacity Building Program.

Media Contact:Tracy Routledge P:+ 61 8 9368 3417
M:0412 223 221



[Return to previous page]