SARDI gets new chief as Lewis moves on

Professor Mooney
Affiliate professor Pauline Mooney has taken the reins of Australia’s leading primary industry state research organisation, the South Australian Research and Development Institute as its executive director.
Professor Mooney joined SARDI five years ago as research director, refocusing and reshaping SARDI as the State responds to evolving national research and development priorities.
For the past year professor Mooney has been SARDI’s deputy executive director. Previously, professor Mooney held a number of science leadership positions across a diverse range of disciplines from plant breeding and pre and post harvest physiology through to gene technologies and bioengineering.  She has previously led significant horticulture, bioscience and food-related science programs in New Zealand and South Africa.
Her science background includes a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and Masters of Science spanning the fields of botany, genetics, microbiology, plant pathology and phycology at the University of Natal in South Africa, and a PhD majoring in molecular biology at Sydney University.
She replaces affiliate professor Rob Lewis, who has led SARDI for the past 17 years. Professor Lewis will continue to serve on significant private and public sector boards.  Among new opportunities professor Lewis will be taking up is a role as the independent chair of the Fisheries and Aquaculture National Priorities Forum.
Professor Mooney is not new to the role of heading SARDI, having been appointed acting executive director while professor Lewis was South Australia’s acting water security commissioner during six months in 2008. SARDI is the research arm of Primary Industries and Resources SA.