Robyn Dorothy Warner

BAgrSc, (La Trobe University), MAgrSc (University of Melbourne), PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Robyn Warner is a meat scientist and a Professor in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences and Chair of the multidisciplinary Future Food Hallmark Research Initiative, at the University of Melbourne (UoM). A Melbourne-raised girl, Robyn had many animals as pets and also developed her love of animals and agriculture through her regular holiday visits, to a farm in Christmas Hills. On graduating from LaTrobe University with a Bachelor in Agriculture, Robyn tutored at UofM, then joined the Victorian Department of Agriculture (Vic-DA). Her early research on dark-cutting in beef carcasses enabled her to complete a Masters in Agricultural Science at UofM and initiated her research interest, and many publications, on the topic which continues today. Further studies supported by Vic-DA and the pork industry enabled her to undertake a PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She became Section Leader and Principal Research Scientist at Vic-DA until she joined CSIRO as a Senior Principal Research Scientist. She recently joined UofM and in each place of employment, she built up the meat science group and attracted funding through her food and agricultural company connections. Robyn has an excellent and sustained track record in leadership and conducting multi-disciplinary research and her research uses knowledge of bio-physical aspects of muscle to investigate important issues for the meat industry. 

Robyn has over 200 peer reviewed publications and is associate/section editor for Animal Production Science, Encyclopedia of Meat Science, Meat and Muscle Biology and MDPI-Foods. Robyn is Australia’s contact person for the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICOMST) and has had many roles for the annual ICOMST including conference co-chair of the Melbourne-ICOMST. She is an inaugural member of the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) scientific committee, assuring quality to Australian consumers of red meat. Robyn has been recognised with awards including American Meat Science Association International Research and Lectureship Award, the National Eureka Science prize and the International Meat Secretariat Millenium Prize.  

Robyn’s work has had impact on the quality systems implemented for red meat in Australia and overseas, the packaging of red meat and pork on the supermarket shelves and the management of cattle, sheep and pigs pre-harvest, and carcasses post-harvest, to improve meat quality. Her research with colleagues demonstrated the negative effect of high oxygen modified atmosphere packaging on muscle protein degradation and eating quality of white and red meat and changed how meat is packaged. Results from experiments conducted with Drewe Ferguson (CSIRO), on effects of saleyards on beef eating quality, are implemented in the MSA model for predicting eating quality, along with the guidelines for preventing dark-cutting in beef carcasses. Knowledge translation to the public is evident through appearance on radio, TV and in local, national and international press. In her Masters subject, Meat and Meat Products, as well as with PhD students, Robyn uses her industry experience to inspire the future animal and meat scientists. Robyn has always had a strong nexus between her teaching and research and her list of PhD graduates includes many who are placed in senior industry, government and academic positions. 

In recognition of her exceptional record in research and research application both nationally and internationally that has transformed the Australian meat industry towards new quality standards, the Australian Association of Animal Sciences is pleased to enrol Professor Robyn Warner as a Fellow.