Lloyd T. Evans Plant Growth Facility
The Lloyd T. Evans Plant Growth Facility (PGF), officially dedicated and opened on 21 January 2016, is a state-of-the-art research complex on the campus of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). It is envisioned to become a key international resource and venue for biotechnology research and the conservation of genetic diversity.
The facility includes eight controlled-environment glasshouses, a large set of controlled-environment walk-in and reach-in plant growth chambers, plant processing and potting laboratories, and a large seed processing and storage setup. It also features optimum environment-friendly management support systems that employ rainwater capture and storage, natural ventilation, and other energy-saving technologies.
With the PGF, scientists will now be able to nurture and study plants, particularly rice, in a wide range of environments. Researchers can precisely control temperature, relative humidity, light intensity, photoperiod systems, atmospheric gases, and water management systems.
The innovative research that will be carried out here will contribute significantly to understanding the impact of climate change on the growth of the rice plant. The glasshouses will also be used for strategic plant physiology research that will yield insights into improving other crops such as wheat.
Educating the upcoming generation of future leaders in rice science is one of IRRI’s major strategic goals. So, it is hoped that the facility’s cutting-edge array of scientific equipment will entice many bright graduates to make a career out of studying the crop sciences.
About Dr. Lloyd T. Evans
Australian plant physiologist Lloyd T. Evans (1927-2015) was the chief of the Division of Plant Industry at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) from 1971 to 1978 and president of the Australian Academy of Science from 1978 to 1982. His research on plant physiology has been published in several scientific journals, reviews, and books, reflecting his deep interest and understanding of his field of expertise.
His 1998 book, Feeding the Ten Billion, is a celebration of the history of agricultural innovation published on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Malthus’s gloomy essay on world population and food supply. As a world-renowned plant physiologist, Evans was instrumental in the development of IRRI’s original phytotron, which was dedicated and opened on 23 September 1974. He embodied a positive and constructive relationship between Australia and IRRI throughout his career.
Lloyd T. Evans served as a member of the board of trustees of both IRRI (1984-89) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico.