Dr Kim-Yen Phan-Thien
BScAgr Sydney, PhD UNSW
Teaching and Research Fellow, Food & Agribusiness
Dept of Plant and Food Science
C81 - ATP - The Biomedical Building
The University of Sydney
|Telephone||+ 61 2 8627 1000|
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|Curriculum vitae||Curriculum vitae|
Dr Kim Phan-Thien graduated with a BScAgr (Hon I) majoring in Horticultural Science from The University of Sydney in 2002. She subsequently worked at Valent BioSciences, a company specializing in plant growth regulators and bio-pesticides, on a field trial of the ethylene-inhibitor aminovinylglycine in a commercial persimmon orchard.Kim then spent one year working in Gansu and Xinjiang in far-west China as a research assistant on the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) project, ‘Postharvest handling and disease control in melons in China and Australia’ and two years in East Java, Indonesia as a research assistant on the ACIAR project, ‘Reducing aflatoxin in peanuts using agronomic management and bio-control strategies in Indonesia and Australia.’ After returning to Australia in 2007, Kim worked as a project officer at the Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific before beginning research at The University of New South Wales on ‘Development of new functional food traits in peanuts’. She completed her PhD in Food Science Technology in 2013 and is currently working in the Department of Plant and Food Sciences in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment on research projects related to agricultural product quality, food safety, and bioactive phytochemicals.
Kim’s research is motivated by broad concerns about food security and sustainability. How can we produce more food with higher nutritional, health-promoting, and sensory qualities while maximizing commercial and environmental sustainability? Kim is fascinated by the complex genetic and environmental interactions that circumscribe plant physiology and biochemistry, and how this intersects with the commercial and consumer perspectives of food quality and safety. A systems understanding of the factors that influence plant composition can reveal opportunities for management of quality and safety attributes through genetic improvement, agronomic practice, and processing. Examples of recent/current topics include:
- Development of health-promoting ‘functional food’ peanut varieties with enhanced antioxidant profiles and essential mineral composition through plant breeding and agronomic management.
- Investigating the phytochemical composition of ‘biofumigant’ crops and assessing their use in agronomic strategies to remediate Salmonella-contaminated soil, for improvement of food safety in fresh produce without reliance on chemical fumigation or sanitisers.
- Determining the insecticidal phytochemicals in several indigenous plants from West Africa identified as having potential applications in low-input smallholder farming systems as alternatives to conventional chemical controls.
- Evaluating the capacity of genetic improvement in the heat tolerance of hexaploid wheat (i.e. plant breeding of heat tolerant varieties) to mitigate the loss in grain quality associated with heat stress, in addition to reducing yield losses.
- Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Member (AIFST)
- Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Member (MRACI)
- American Chemical Society, Member
For a list of Kim Phan-Thien's publications, please see her attached CV.
Plant and crop physiology; Food Production, Quality and Safety; Food Security and Supply
PhD and master's project opportunities
- Remediation of soil contaminated by Salmonella enterica to expedite plant or replant of vegetables; McConchie R, Bell T, Wilkinson K, Groves P, Phan-Thien K; Horticulture Australia Limited/Research & Development Industry.
- Making the most of every opportunity: Innovative solutions for the Australian food industry in the 21st century.; Raubenheimer D, Dehghani F, Kavanagh J, Barton G, Langrish T, Gomes V, Fletcher D, Abbas A, Downard K, Dong Q, Chae S, McConchie R, Copeland L, Phan-Thien K, Arab-Tehrany E, Regtop H, Lang T, Ryan D, Wright G, Ling L, Cuthbertson A, Heatley R, Adil Q, Challacombe B, Simonetta M, Norman K; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Industrial Transformation Training Centres (ITTC).