Griffith Sciences’ Professor Roderick Drew has been elected president of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS).

The first Australian to fill the position, Professor Drew’s appointment comes as the Society marks its 150th anniversary and follows the successful International Horticultural Congress held in Brisbane in August.

The congress attracted 3400 delegates from 100 countries.

The world’s leading independent organisation for international horticulturalists, ISHS has more than 7500 members throughout the world and aims to promote and encourage research and education in all branches of horticultural science.

It also facilitates cooperation and knowledge transfer on a global scale through symposia, congresses, publications and scientific structure.

Professor Drew, from Griffith University’s School of Natural Sciences, says he is honoured to assume leadership of the Society at a time when the impact of horticulture on lives, livelihoods and the environment is becoming increasingly significant.

“The World Health Organization estimates that more than a billion people go to bed hungry each night. I know the difference that horticulture could make for them and I want to see that happen,” he says.

“The possibility of feeding the world’s hungry and malnourished is in turn feeding my passion for horticulture and makes leadership of the Society an exciting challenge.”