4th Postharvest Unlimited Conference

25 July 2011

Dr Katherine Cools, A J Banks bursar reports from 4th Postharvest Unlimited Conference in Leavenworth, Washington State, USA from 23-26 May 2011.

I was excited by the opportunity to give an oral presentation at the IV Postharvest Unlimited Conference. This gave me the chance to present some of the work I carried out during my PhD which I completed last September at Cranfield University under the supervision of Dr Leon Terry. The work I presented at the conference was titled ‘Short treatment with ethylene and 1-methylcyclopropene in combination prior to storage is sufficient to reduce sprout growth in onion (Allium cepa L.)’.

Presenting my work at this conference also gave me the opportunity to promote a recent publication in the well-regarded journal Plant Physiology which included work relating to my PhD which formed part of a larger HortLink project (HL0182). As first author on this paper, I was grateful for the opportunity to promote myself to an international audience of scientific peers and industrial representatives.

The conference consisted of around 100 people, approximately half of which presented oral presentations which meant that I could attend most presentations since there were few concurrent sessions. There were also several key speakers who presented each morning who gave more extensive talks on key topics relating to Postharvest research.

The conference took place in a mock Bavarian town called Leavenworth situated approximately 2 hours drive north-east of Seattle. On the second day of the conference we were given the opportunity to go on the tour which took us to see the vast apple and cherry orchards, Washingston State is famous for as well as an apple packing and distributing factory. This was a great opportunity to learn more about the practicalities of producing fresh produce on a grand scale.

I am very grateful to SCI for the award of AJ Banks Bursary which covered my flight to the USA. Without this vital funding I would not have been able to attend this important event in the area of Postharvest research.

Dr Katherine Cools
Cranfield University

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