Alan Cruickshank

In Memory of Alan Cruickshank – 1963-2023



Senior Plant Breeder


Alan joined the Queensland Department of Primary Industries in 1986 to work as a peanut breeder at Kingaroy, where he continued as the Department’s sole peanut breeder until 2006. During this time, he released eight successful peanut varieties including varieties with improved disease resistance and early maturity, which made major impacts for the Queensland industry. His greatest impact was the release of the world’s first commercial varieties with high oleic acid enabling Australian growers to be the first to deliver peanut varieties with major health benefits and improved shelf-life. Alan also contributed to the industry by serving on boards and industry associations including APIRDA (Australian Peanut Industry Research and Development Association) and Southeast Queensland Research Advisory Committee to the Grains Research and Development Corporation. Alan built and maintained international connections through a vital role in the More efficient breeding of peanuts in India and Australia project with ICRISAT and Indian national research centres. With the transition of the DAF peanut breeding program to the commercial industry, Alan made the move to sorghum pre-breeding at the Hermitage Research Station in 2006 working with David Jordan and Emma Mace. During his 17 years with sorghum, the program licensed 2280 lines to industry. Alan played a major role in various industry bodies and contributed to major projects for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Crop Diversity Trust.
Over the course of his career, Alan published over 60 scholarly works. He will be included as a co-author in multiple future publications that he has contributed to through his invaluable breeding and genetics skills.