Passionate about plants
New rural assistance scholarships aim to help students from the bush, fix the bush
Australian agriculture and our native plant communities are currently facing a difficult period with drought, climate change and the propagation of pests all taking their toll. However Dr Adrienne Nicotra, a plant biologist from the School of Botany and Zoology, believes that with the application of the right science, we can make good much of the damage.
“We’re fortunate to have many leading scientists from the fields of forestry, ecology, plant physiology and agriculture concentrated on the ANU campus, and also that we are in such close proximity to the CSIRO facilities at Black Mountain.” She says. “But the key to success in any scientific program is people. Accordingly, we’re very much on the lookout for promising students. Naturally we’re keen to attract those with a high level of academic achievement, however over and above this, we want to attract young scientists who will be passionately motivated to develop scientific solutions to the current problems. We want to target students from rural areas in particular because we believe they will have direct experience of the current challenges facing plant sciences and strong desire to address them.”
One of the current difficulties facing students from rural areas is the cost of interstate removal and travel to attend university. In an attempt to redress this problem, Dr Nicotra has initiated a program of sponsored rural assistance scholarships that help the brightest youngsters from the bush to come and study plant sciences at ANU. The first in what she hopes will be a series of these scholarships has been provided by the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry. Interested students are invited to see the website for further information . . .