Students in the lab

Scientific summer for top Aussie students

Reference: 06/249

Nineteen stellar tertiary students from around Australia will swap beachwear for lab coats this summer to work on their own science projects at CSIRO in Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Merbein and Narrabri.

  • 6 December 2006

Starting this week, CSIRO Plant Industry's Summer Student Program provides students with a taste of what it’s like to be scientific researchers working in teams on current research projects.

“The Program gives students real-world practical skills and lets them experience first hand the excitement of scientific research.”
Dr Jeremy Burdon

“The Program aims to encourage future generations of young scientists to follow a career in scientific research,” says CSIRO Plant Industry Chief, Dr Jeremy Burdon.

“Students work on their own project, which has been chosen to complement existing CSIRO research, so their work contributes to Australia’s scientific knowledge.

“The Program gives students real-world practical skills and lets them experience first hand the excitement of scientific research,” he says.

“They instantly become part of a research team and are supported by a scientific mentor. The Program also gives our scientists the opportunity to work with a new generation of young, bright and enthusiastic minds.”

After working on their projects at the different sites, Program participants will visit Canberra to present their findings at the Summer Student Symposium in February 2007.

This year’s projects will involve:

  • two students based at Perth investigating root and shoot growth in annual and perennial plants and the molecular mechanisms associated with aphid resistance in legumes
  • a student in Brisbane exploring the molecular mechanisms behind Fusarium wilt resistance
  • eleven students based at Canberra working on projects ranging from an investigation of the proteins involved in flowering to looking at ways to reduce Australia’s reliance on phosphorus fertilisers in agriculture
  • three students based at Narrabri researching the interactions between GM cotton and spider mites, the effects of early water stress on cotton and the role of soil biology in cotton crop productivity
  • two students based at Merbein studying the genetic control of fruit growth by seeds and developing a hormone based herbicide to fight wild radish, a major agricultural weed

CSIRO Plant Industry’s Summer Studentship Program is organised in collaboration with the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research and supported by the Australian Pastoral Research Trust and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Read more media releases in our Media Centre.

  Image of Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research logo   Image of the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) logo.