Associate Professor Robyn McConchie

BSc London MA(Ed) Macquarie PhD LSU
Head of Department
Dept of Plant and Food Sciences

C81 - ATP - The Biomedical Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 8627 1045
Fax +61 2 8627 1099

Biographical details

Associate Professor Robyn McConchie has a BSc (Plant Science) from Wye College, University of London, an MA (Education and Work) from Macquarie University and PhD from Louisiana State University (USA). She has been teaching and researching in the area of postharvest quality of perishable and grain crops for the past 15 years at the University of Sydney and is currently of Head of the Department of Plant and Food Sciences.

Recently, Robyn has introduced a new Bachelor of Food and Agribusiness to commence 2014, designed to attract young talent into this dynamic industry. With a double major in food science and business, graduates will a play key role in ensuring food businesses remain competitive and sustainable in the face of evolving world markets and environmental challenges.

Robyn has also worked closely with industry to initiate a Fresh Produce Safety Centre based at the University of Sydney. The new Centre will drive food safety research that will provide solutions to benefit and service the fresh food produce industry.

From 2007-2009 Robyn was Director of the Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific (RIAP) at the University of Sydney, responsible for development of University wide programs in education, research, international leadership training in areas such as health, higher education, agriculture, finance. Robyn has served as Past President and Secretary of Australian Society for Horticultural Science(AuSHS), and is a member of the American (ASHS) and International Societies for Horticultural Science (ISHS), WildFlowers Australia and is Chair of the Protea Working Group (ISHS). She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Research interests

Robyn has interests in a range of post farm-gate activities from postharvest, food safety, quality assurance, value adding and linking farmers to markets through supply chains. She has been leader of 16 international research and capacity building projects in the Asia- Pacific region, and Africa. She has worked in Vietnam, China, Tonga, Fiji, PNG, Lao PDR, Sth Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya

Her current research interests include:

  • A One Health approach to improving postharvest handling, storage and value chains of grains including protection against pests and mycotoxins, to improve health and food security outcomes for small holder villages in Africa.
  • Food safety in fresh produce including safe postharvest practices for melons and use of biofumigants to reduce the persistence of Salmonella spp. in soils amended with organic fertilizers.
  • Commercialisation of native flora for cut flowers including Waratah and Protea, to improve production, postharvest and supply chain management. Robyn collaborates with the Royal Botanic Gardens Trust Sydney and Australian Wildflower industry groups. Currently she is investigating the mechanisms that control flowering that will enable growers to select suitable cultivars and time the marketing of blooms to maximise profitability
  • Use of enhanced plant defence systems (SAR) for pre and postharvest disease control in fruit and vegetables, with the aim of minimising pesticide usage.

Themes

Food Production, Quality and Safety; Food Security and Supply

Selected grants

2015

  • XVI International Protea Association Conference and XII International Protea Working Group Symposium (ISHS) held jointly with VIII International Symposium on New Floricultural Crops; McConchie R; Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation/Conference Support.

2014

  • Australia Awards in Africa: Post-Harvest Management of Maize, Rice and Legumes; McConchie R; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Federal)/Research Support.
  • A revolutionary new sensor for in-field measurements of food safety in leafy vegetables; Bland-Hawthorn J, Sukkarieh S, McConchie R, Rogers G; Horticulture Australia Limited/Research & Development Grant.
  • 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.
  • A New Collaborative Paradigm for Fresh Produce Safety: Stage 2 – A Fresh Produce Safety Centre.; McConchie R; Horticulture Australia Limited/R&D Strategic Investment Funding Call.
  • Strengthening food and nutrition security through family poultry and crop integration in Tanzania and Zambia; Alders R, Li M, McConchie R, Simpson J, Mor S, Young M; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)/Research and Development Programs.
  • 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).

2012

  • A new collaborative paradigm for fresh produce safety; McConchie R; Horticulture Australia Limited/Research and Development General Call.
  • Improving nutrition and livelihoods through efficient post-harvest and supply chain management of vegetables in Bangladesh; McConchie R; Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID)/Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP) Asia.
  • Australia awards Africa: postharvests shortcourse in maize, rice and legumes; McConchie R; Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID)/Australian Development Research Awards.

2011

  • Farm-based methods for control of flowering in waratahs; McConchie R; Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation/Research Priorities Program.
  • Adoption study of HORT/1998/140 Postharvest handling and disease control in melons in China and Australia; McConchie R; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)/Research and Development Programs.

2010

  • Outreach for good governance and development effectiveness through the accountability mechanism; McConchie R; Asian Development Bank/Research Support.

2007

  • Climate controlled physical containment 2 (PC2) and pathogen/insect contained glasshouse facility; Day D, Guest D, Warren C, Simpson S, Kennedy I, Overall R, Smith P, McArthur C, Mansfield S, Gardiner J, McConchie R, Copeland L, Kecskes M; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF).

2005

  • Innovations Fund Small Project Implementation; McConchie R; AusAID/Capacity-building for Agriculture & Rural Development(CARD) in Vietnam.
  • Integrated control of powdry mildew and other disease, weed and insect problems in squash Tonga ans Australia.; McConchie R; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)/Research Project.

2003

  • Effect of shade on bract browning in waratahs; McConchie R; International Protea Association (South Africa)/Research Grant.
  • Enhancing disease management in melons using natural defence activators; McConchie R; Horticulture Australia Limited/Research Grant Call.
  • Effect of shade on bract browning in waratahs (Telopea spp); McConchie R; Horticulture Australia Limited/Research Grant Call.

2002

  • Postharvest Handling Disease Control in Melons in China and Australia; McConchie R; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)/Research Project.

2001

  • Physiology and control of bract burn in Waratahs; McConchie R; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Newly Appointed Staff (NAS).

2000

  • Umbrella fern - Sticherus flabellatus (R.Br.) St John - as a new foliage crop; McConchie R, Eagle R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Strategic Partnerships with Industry - Research and Training (SPIRT).
  • RIRDC Project US-89A: Control of postharvest leaf blackening in cut Protea spp. using ethanol vapour; McConchie R; Rural Industry Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC)/Research and Development Grant.
  • Improving skin colour of ripe mango through production and post-harvest management; McConchie R; Horticulture Australia Limited/Research Grant Call.
  • Improved handling of cut flowers in the Sydney flower market; McConchie R; Industry Science and Resources/R&D Start Program Grants for Collaborative R&D Projects.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • McConchie, R. (2011). Postharvest handling and disease control in melons in China and Australia (HORT/1998/140). In David Pearce and Deborah Templeton (Eds.), Adoption of ACIAR project outputs: studies of projects completed in 2006-07. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Journals

  • McConchie, R., Dinham, K., Gollnow, B., Offord, C. (2014). Characterising Floral Stems in Waratahs. Acta Horticulturae, 1, 29-36.
  • McConchie, R., Woodward, B., Gollnow, B., Offord, C., Bokshi, A., Geelan-Small, P. (2014). Environmental Predictors of Flowering Time in Waratahs. Acta Horticulturae, 1, 37-42.
  • Rekhy, R., McConchie, R. (2014). Promoting consumption of fruit and vegetables for better health. Have campaigns delivered on the goals? Appetite, 79, 113-123. [More Information]
  • Alders, R., Aongolo, A., Bagnol, B., De Bruyn, J., Kimboka, S., Kocj, R., Li, M., Maulaga, W., McConchie, R., Mor, S., Pengelly, B., Simpson, J., et al (2014). Using a One Health Approach to Promote Food and Nutrition Security in Tanzania and Zambia. Planet@risk, 2(3), 187-190.
  • Kimatu, J., McConchie, R., Xie, X., Nguluu, S. (2012). The Significant Role of Post-Harvest Management in Farm Management, Aflatoxin Mitigation and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 2(6), 279-288.
  • Hung, D., McConchie, R., Morris, S. (2010). Pre-harvest Treatment with Aminoethoxyvinylglycine Influences Fruit Ripening and Post-storage Quality of Benzothiadiazole-treated Rockmelon (Cucumis melo L.). Horticulture Environment and Biotechnology, 51(4), 288-294.
  • Hung, D., Morris, S., McConchie, R., Tanaka, F., Hamanaka, D., Uchino, T. (2010). Rockmelon (Cucumis Melo L.) Fruit Ripening and Postharvest Quality Following Application of Aminoethoxyvinylglycine. Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, 55(2), 281-285.
  • McConchie, R., Delaporte, K., Ekman, J., Gollnow, B., Lidbetter, J., Srhoj, J., Seaton, K., Worrall, R. (2010). Standing Out from the Bunch: an Australian Update on Improving Quality. Acta Horticulturae, 869, 191-196.
  • Kumar, V., McConchie, R. (2009). Involvement of antifungal compounds from rockmelon fruit rind (Cucumis melo L.) in resistance against the fruit rot pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 126(4), 531-540. [More Information]
  • Bokshi, A., Jobling, J., McConchie, R. (2008). A single application of Milsana followed by Bion assists in the control of powdery mildew in cucumber and helps overcome yield losses. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 83(6), 701-706.
  • Martyn, A., Larkum, A., McConchie, R., Offord, C. (2008). Photoinhibition and changes in pigments associated with bract browning in waratahs (Telopea spp., Proteaceae). Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 83(3), 367-373.
  • Martyn, A., Thomas, C., O'Neill, M., Offord, C., McConchie, R. (2007). Bract browning in waratahs (Telopea spp.) is not a localised calcium deficiency disorder. Scientia Horticulturae, 112(4), 434-438.
  • Martyn, A., Gollnow, B., McConchie, R., Offord, C. (2007). Characterisation of bract browning and the effect of shade on browning in waratah (Telopea spp., Proteaceae) cultivars 'Fire and Brimstone', 'Olympic Flame' and 'Wirrimbirra White'. Scientia Horticulturae, 112(4), 427-433.
  • Bokshi, A., Morris, S., McConchie, R. (2007). Environmentally-safe control of postharvest diseases of melons (Cucumis melo) by integrating heat treatment, safe chemicals, and systemic acquired resistance. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, 35(2), 179-186.
  • Bokshi, A., Morris, S., McConchie, R., Deverall, B. (2006). Pre-harvest application of 2, 6-dichloroisonicotinic acid, b-aminobutyric acid or benzothiadiazole to control post-harvest storage diseases of melons by inducing systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 81(4), 700-706.
  • Nguyen, H., Hofman, P., Holmes, R., Bally, I., Stubbings, B., McConchie, R. (2004). Effect Of Nitrogen On The Skin Colour And Other Quality Attributes Of Ripe 'Kensington Pride' Mango (Mangifera Indica L.) Fruit. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 79(2), 204-210.
  • Martyn, A., Tyler, J., Offord, C., McConchie, R. (2003). Swainsona sejuncta: a species of ornamental promis or a potential weed? Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture ('09 renamed: Animal Production Science), 43(11), 1369-1381.
  • Keiper, F., McConchie, R. (2001). Morphological variation among Sticherus flabellatus (Gleicheniaceae) populations of the Sydney region. Australian Journal of Botany, 49, 89-105.

Conferences

  • McConchie, R., Rogers, G. (2007). Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Cucurbits. Third International Symposium on Cucurbits, Australia: ISHS Acta Horticulturae.
  • Martyn, A., McConchie, R., Offord, C. (2006). Effect of Shade on Bract Browning of Waratahs (Telopea spp.). 7th International Protea Research Symposium, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science.
  • Symons, I., Gunning, R., McConchie, R., Mansfield, S. (2006). Silverleaf Whitefly: A New Menace for Sydney Greenhouses. Australia and New Zealand Entomological Societies Conference. Australian Entomological Society.
  • McConchie, R., Bokshi, A., Morris, S., Li, F., McDonald, R., Zuoshan, K. (2004). Evaluation Of Conventional Fungicides, Heat Treatment And Safe Compounds In Hot Solutions For The Control Of Postharvest Diseases Of Melons. 8th Australian Symposium on Precision Agriculture, Sydney (August), : Sydney Australia.
  • McConchie, R., Martyn, A., Offord, C. (2004). Photonhibition Causes Bract Burn And Light Damage In Waratahs (Telopea Sp.). AuSHS Conference,, : University of Melbourne.
  • McConchie, R., Nguyen, P., McDonald, K., Anwaral, B., Morris, S. (2004). Systemic Acquired Resistance As A Strategy For Postharvest Disease Management On Rockmelon (Cucumis Melo Var. Reticulatus). 5th ISHS Postharvest Symposium, : University of Melbourne.
  • Martyn, A., Thomas, C., McConchie, R., Gollnow, B., Offord, C. (2003). Investigations into the causes of bract browning in waratahs (Telopea spp.). 6th International Protea Research Symposium, Belgium and web: International Society for Horticulural Science.
  • McConchie, R., Nguyen, H., Hofman, P., Stubbings,, B., Adkins, M. (2002). Effect of Ethylene and Ripening Temperatures on the Skin Colour and Flesh Characteristics of Ripe 'Kensington Pride' Mango Fruit. International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, Cairns, Australia: International Society for Horticultural Science.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Alders, R., Bagnol, B., Costa, R., Farrell, P., Li, M., McConchie, R., Msami, H. (2013). Unlocking the potential of village chicken production to contribute to household nutritional security. GFAR The Global Forum on Agricultural Research.

Other

  • Alders, R., Bagnol, B., De Bruyn, J., Li, M., McConchie, R., Mor, S., Simpson, J. (2013), A One Health perspective on Infectious Disease and Food Security.

2014

  • McConchie, R., Dinham, K., Gollnow, B., Offord, C. (2014). Characterising Floral Stems in Waratahs. Acta Horticulturae, 1, 29-36.
  • McConchie, R., Woodward, B., Gollnow, B., Offord, C., Bokshi, A., Geelan-Small, P. (2014). Environmental Predictors of Flowering Time in Waratahs. Acta Horticulturae, 1, 37-42.
  • Rekhy, R., McConchie, R. (2014). Promoting consumption of fruit and vegetables for better health. Have campaigns delivered on the goals? Appetite, 79, 113-123. [More Information]
  • Alders, R., Aongolo, A., Bagnol, B., De Bruyn, J., Kimboka, S., Kocj, R., Li, M., Maulaga, W., McConchie, R., Mor, S., Pengelly, B., Simpson, J., et al (2014). Using a One Health Approach to Promote Food and Nutrition Security in Tanzania and Zambia. Planet@risk, 2(3), 187-190.

2013

  • Alders, R., Bagnol, B., De Bruyn, J., Li, M., McConchie, R., Mor, S., Simpson, J. (2013), A One Health perspective on Infectious Disease and Food Security.
  • Alders, R., Bagnol, B., Costa, R., Farrell, P., Li, M., McConchie, R., Msami, H. (2013). Unlocking the potential of village chicken production to contribute to household nutritional security. GFAR The Global Forum on Agricultural Research.

2012

  • Kimatu, J., McConchie, R., Xie, X., Nguluu, S. (2012). The Significant Role of Post-Harvest Management in Farm Management, Aflatoxin Mitigation and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 2(6), 279-288.

2011

  • Park, S., McConchie, R., Walters, E., Goodwin, N. (2011), Outreach for Good Governance and Development Effectiveness through the Accountability Mechanism. , .
  • McConchie, R. (2011). Postharvest handling and disease control in melons in China and Australia (HORT/1998/140). In David Pearce and Deborah Templeton (Eds.), Adoption of ACIAR project outputs: studies of projects completed in 2006-07. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

2010

  • Hung, D., McConchie, R., Morris, S. (2010). Pre-harvest Treatment with Aminoethoxyvinylglycine Influences Fruit Ripening and Post-storage Quality of Benzothiadiazole-treated Rockmelon (Cucumis melo L.). Horticulture Environment and Biotechnology, 51(4), 288-294.
  • Hung, D., Morris, S., McConchie, R., Tanaka, F., Hamanaka, D., Uchino, T. (2010). Rockmelon (Cucumis Melo L.) Fruit Ripening and Postharvest Quality Following Application of Aminoethoxyvinylglycine. Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, 55(2), 281-285.
  • McConchie, R., Delaporte, K., Ekman, J., Gollnow, B., Lidbetter, J., Srhoj, J., Seaton, K., Worrall, R. (2010). Standing Out from the Bunch: an Australian Update on Improving Quality. Acta Horticulturae, 869, 191-196.

2009

  • Kumar, V., McConchie, R. (2009). Involvement of antifungal compounds from rockmelon fruit rind (Cucumis melo L.) in resistance against the fruit rot pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 126(4), 531-540. [More Information]

2008

  • Bokshi, A., Jobling, J., McConchie, R. (2008). A single application of Milsana followed by Bion assists in the control of powdery mildew in cucumber and helps overcome yield losses. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 83(6), 701-706.
  • Martyn, A., Larkum, A., McConchie, R., Offord, C. (2008). Photoinhibition and changes in pigments associated with bract browning in waratahs (Telopea spp., Proteaceae). Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 83(3), 367-373.

2007

  • Martyn, A., Thomas, C., O'Neill, M., Offord, C., McConchie, R. (2007). Bract browning in waratahs (Telopea spp.) is not a localised calcium deficiency disorder. Scientia Horticulturae, 112(4), 434-438.
  • Martyn, A., Gollnow, B., McConchie, R., Offord, C. (2007). Characterisation of bract browning and the effect of shade on browning in waratah (Telopea spp., Proteaceae) cultivars 'Fire and Brimstone', 'Olympic Flame' and 'Wirrimbirra White'. Scientia Horticulturae, 112(4), 427-433.
  • Bokshi, A., Morris, S., McConchie, R. (2007). Environmentally-safe control of postharvest diseases of melons (Cucumis melo) by integrating heat treatment, safe chemicals, and systemic acquired resistance. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, 35(2), 179-186.
  • McConchie, R., Rogers, G. (2007). Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Cucurbits. Third International Symposium on Cucurbits, Australia: ISHS Acta Horticulturae.

2006

  • Martyn, A., McConchie, R., Offord, C. (2006). Effect of Shade on Bract Browning of Waratahs (Telopea spp.). 7th International Protea Research Symposium, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science.
  • Bokshi, A., Morris, S., McConchie, R., Deverall, B. (2006). Pre-harvest application of 2, 6-dichloroisonicotinic acid, b-aminobutyric acid or benzothiadiazole to control post-harvest storage diseases of melons by inducing systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 81(4), 700-706.
  • Symons, I., Gunning, R., McConchie, R., Mansfield, S. (2006). Silverleaf Whitefly: A New Menace for Sydney Greenhouses. Australia and New Zealand Entomological Societies Conference. Australian Entomological Society.

2004

  • Nguyen, H., Hofman, P., Holmes, R., Bally, I., Stubbings, B., McConchie, R. (2004). Effect Of Nitrogen On The Skin Colour And Other Quality Attributes Of Ripe 'Kensington Pride' Mango (Mangifera Indica L.) Fruit. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 79(2), 204-210.
  • McConchie, R., Bokshi, A., Morris, S., Li, F., McDonald, R., Zuoshan, K. (2004). Evaluation Of Conventional Fungicides, Heat Treatment And Safe Compounds In Hot Solutions For The Control Of Postharvest Diseases Of Melons. 8th Australian Symposium on Precision Agriculture, Sydney (August), : Sydney Australia.
  • McConchie, R., Martyn, A., Offord, C. (2004). Photonhibition Causes Bract Burn And Light Damage In Waratahs (Telopea Sp.). AuSHS Conference,, : University of Melbourne.
  • McConchie, R., Nguyen, P., McDonald, K., Anwaral, B., Morris, S. (2004). Systemic Acquired Resistance As A Strategy For Postharvest Disease Management On Rockmelon (Cucumis Melo Var. Reticulatus). 5th ISHS Postharvest Symposium, : University of Melbourne.

2003

  • Martyn, A., Thomas, C., McConchie, R., Gollnow, B., Offord, C. (2003). Investigations into the causes of bract browning in waratahs (Telopea spp.). 6th International Protea Research Symposium, Belgium and web: International Society for Horticulural Science.
  • Martyn, A., Tyler, J., Offord, C., McConchie, R. (2003). Swainsona sejuncta: a species of ornamental promis or a potential weed? Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture ('09 renamed: Animal Production Science), 43(11), 1369-1381.

2002

  • McConchie, R., Nguyen, H., Hofman, P., Stubbings,, B., Adkins, M. (2002). Effect of Ethylene and Ripening Temperatures on the Skin Colour and Flesh Characteristics of Ripe 'Kensington Pride' Mango Fruit. International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, Cairns, Australia: International Society for Horticultural Science.

2001

  • Keiper, F., McConchie, R. (2001). Morphological variation among Sticherus flabellatus (Gleicheniaceae) populations of the Sydney region. Australian Journal of Botany, 49, 89-105.

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