15 June 2017
SCI is pleased to announce the winners of the David Miller Travel Bursary Awards 2017 are Siobhan Gardiner (Cranfield University) and Floren Scrafton (University of Birmingham). This award aims to give two young plant scientists or horticulturists the opportunity of overseas travel in connection with their horticultural careers. It is given in honour of David Miller, a well-respected Guernsey horticulturist who played a major role in the establishment of the SCI Horticulture Group.
Each recipient will receive a £500 award towards their travel plans as well as a year’s membership of the Eden Project. They will also be invited to the Group’s Annual General Meeting in September to present details of their work and their travel if it has been completed.
Siobhan Gardiner will travel to the International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS) symposium on the 'Survey of Uses of Plant Genetic Resources to the Benefit of Local Populations'. At the symposium in Antananarivo, Madagascar, she will present a paper on 'High-resolution RNA-seq analysis of vanilla, Vanilla planfolia, pods during the interim postharvest period'. Vegetative propagation has greatly reduced the genetic diversity of cultivated vanilla, leaving it prone to outbreaks of disease. Siobhan hopes her work will help the search for greater genetic diversity.
Floren Scrafton will visit Bolivia as part of an investigation into the potential for quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) as a strategic crop for global food security. Quinoa has been grown as a 'cereal' crop in the Andes for over 5,000 years but until recently was little used elsewhere. Floren starts a PhD in September and hopes to establish a niche in plant security.
The Group would like to thank our sponsors who make the award possible; Vitacress, The Eric Gardner Memorial Trust, The Eden Project and SCI itself.