Entry for:2018 Queensland Women in STEM Prize
1. Please provide a short summary of your research, project or technology.
What if there were no more bananas because of disease? What if drought wiped out our grain crops? What if our farming lands couldn’t produce enough food to feed everyone? All of these are a possibility and pose a real threat to our food security. What am I doing about it? I’m using gene editing technology to develop ways to make better crop plants. Plant genomes are very complicated and it is difficult and time consuming to modify plant genes. I am using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to develop more precise and efficient ways to modify plant genes. These methods can be used to make plants that are more resilient to pests and diseases and more drought hardy with increased yield. Queensland’s economic wellbeing is heavily reliant on the agricultural industry, and my research will not only have significant financial benefits for the State, but also ensure we are at the forefront of research.