Melbourne, 4 April 2011 – University of Sydney student Amanda Huen was one of 17 of Australia’s top science and engineering students given the opportunity to work alongside leading Australian scientists this year as part of the CSIRO Plant Industry Summer Student Program, supported by Bayer CropScience and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
The CSIRO Summer Student Program engages students in a range of important agricultural research projects and provides real insights into the day-to-day working lives of some of Australia’s most experienced agricultural scientists.
Miss Huen worked alongside Dr Michael Groszmann investigating the genetics behind hybrid vigour, the phenomenon in plant breeding which results in higher performing crops.
She said being involved in the Program was an exciting opportunity which confirmed her ambition to pursue a career in an area that will directly apply to food security and agricultural applications in this country.
“Hybrid vigour is not a permanent effect and can be lost after many generations. The hope is that by understanding it better, we might one day be able to breed crops more efficiently, optimising production,” Miss Huen commented.
“Food security is going to be a much greater issue in the future because of the increasing world population and the decrease in land available.”
“The hope is that my research will help in optimising plant production and generating greater yields to meet these challenges.”
Miss Huen’s preliminary research on the Arabidopsis species will form the basis for subsequent research on vital Australian crops, with findings to be applied across a range of plants.
Head of New Business Development at Bayer CropScience, Richard Dickmann described the program as enabling Bayer CropScience to connect with students and engender motivation to pursue a career in science in order to address some of the challenges faced through climate change and in sustainable agriculture.
“Clearly hybrid breeding plays a major part in Bayer’s approach to addressing sustainable food, feed and fiber production – we also hope to see young scientists like Miss Huen pursue a successful career in this field to ensure ongoing innovation well into the future.”
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 6.830 billion (2010), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 20,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries. The Australian head office is located in Melbourne.
Fleur Wilkins, Communication Manager, Bayer CropScience
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