Dr Peter Martin
Current activities are directed towards the breeding of grass varieties for turf use which will perform well with lower inputs of water, pesticides and fertilizers than existing varieties, research into cultural practices associated with the maintenance of turf and the provision of Australia’s only course of study (a full-fee Master’s degree) for the professional development of senior turf managers. The turf course has attracted students from all states including significant numbers from Western Australia
In formulating breeding and research priorities for turf, Professor Martin has carried out extensive consultations with the industry, in particular the turf farming industry clustered along the Nepean River in the Camden area and along the Hawkesbury River in the Richmond-Windsor area. This has led to the identification of drought resistance, salinity tolerance, disease resistance and medical maintenance requirements as the key breeding goals.
Professor Martin has had a life-long association with the turf industry as both researcher and consultant and is generally regarded as one of the leading turf scientist in Australia. He has been involved in many high profile sports turf projects (including overseeing the turf for the main stadium at Homebush for the 2000 Olympic Games and supervising the rebuilding of the Campbelltown Football Stadium in 2000) and environmental studies of turf farming. His achievements in sports turf were recognised by the Commonwealth Government in 2001 with the award of an Australian Sports Medal. He has worked full-time at the Institute since July 2001, and build up a solid team including Percy Wong, a leading Turf pathogist.