Professor Pluske is from Murdoch University in Western Australia. He will commit more than half his time to APRIL, while maintaining academic roles and duties at Murdoch University. In his new role, he will replace interim CEO Roger Campbell.
APRIL is an independent research entity that partners with industry and educational institutions to deliver research for the Australasian pork industry. It also works for commercial outcomes that generate financial returns for APRIL to support ongoing research, development and training.
In 2018/19, its inaugural funding year, APRIL invested $900,000 in 13 projects across programs covering resilience, cost and return on assets.
Dennis Mutton, APRIL board chairman, said: “There are exciting research prospects ahead for the pork industry and John’s sound research background and international reputation augurs well for meeting the high goals and KPIs we’ve set for APRIL.”
David Morrison, Murdoch University deputy vice chancellor research and innovation, said the University was committed to agriculture and research.
“This opportunity is a win for the pork industry and enables Murdoch University to retain one of our prominent researchers, which is fantastic for our research capability and for our students,” he said.
Professor Pluske said APRIL would consider all funding opportunities, including competitive research grants, to ensure the Australasian pork industry had the necessary financial backing, research and development capacity to be sustainable and internationally competitive.
APRIL will work closely with Australian Pork to jointly provide access to research facilities through base funding. This will ensure the pork industry has access to high-quality scientists, and generates research capable of enhancing capacity, profitability and sustainability, it said.
Professor Pluske’s research career, including many years as a subprogram leader at the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork, has focused on nutrition-gut disease interactions in pigs, growth and development, feed and ingredient evaluation.