Antje Fiebig, David Miller Award Recipient - from IHC in Brisbane

4 Nov 2014

The 29th International Horticultural Congress took place from 17 to 22 August 2014 at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Horticultural scientists from around the world regard the International Horticultural Congress, which takes place only every four years, as one of the premier events and a great opportunity to refresh and learn something new about the wider range of disciplines (plant breeding, fruit quality, economics and management, molecular biology, plant protection etc.) and species (this time with a focus on exotic fruits, but also protected vegetable production) within the vast field of horticultural science.

This conference, which took the form of oral and poster presentations and scientific workshops, proved to be highly relevant for my PhD research project, in which I study the effects of over- and under-irrigation and flooding on plant growth and hormonal balance. I have been able to give an oral presentation about my project (title 'Feedback regulation of irrigation via soil moisture monitoring and its implication on plant growth and physiology') and obtained very valuable comments and ideas for further research. A paper including more detailed work, focusing not only on the feasibility of using soil moisture sensors for automatic irrigaiton scheduling, but also examinig the effects of deficit irrigation on possible tomato growth regulation through changes in leaf water status, gas exchange and plant hormone balance, will be published in Acta Horticulturae. I have also had the opportunity to discuss my results with high-profile research scientists from academia and industry. In particular, several presentations about automatic irrigation scheduling caught my attention and it was very interesting to see the advances made in this area in recent years and where my research project fits in.

Being able to attend an international conference has helped fuel my enthusiasm for research, has broadened my knowledge and helped me gain experience in public presenting. I have obtained important and up-to-date information directly relevant to my work, which has also helped me think about additional experiments which might help to publish the data in high impact journals.

I am very thankful for having received the David Miller Travel Award, which has made it possible to partially fund the airplane ticket to Australia to be able to attend the International Horticultural Congress in Brisbane.

Some interesting presentations topics included:

  • Automating irrigation scheduling in production nurseries using a weight-based irrigation controller (David Hunt, John McDonald)
  • Brickborn-farming for urban horticulture (Fritz-Gerald Schroeder, Daniel Brohm, Hans Schroeder, Nico Domurath)
  • Root-to-power Workshop (Chair Francisco Perez-Alfocea, Ian Dodd)
  • The role of ethylene in stress responses of plants – a review (Nico Domurath, Daniel Brohm)

A copy of my presentation, which I presented at the David Miller Awards 2014 on 19 September, can be downloaded by clicking the link below.

Antje Fiebig,
David Miller Travel Award Recipient

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