Bristol students host 2nd international plant sciences workshop
17 February 2017
The University of Bristol hosted the 2nd Kyoto-Bristol-Heidelberg plant sciences workshop (14-16 February).
The workshop, ‘Innovations in plant science to feed a changing world’, was organised by students from Kyoto University, Universität Heidelberg and the University of Bristol. Delegates from each university, and the University of Zurich, were joined at the three-day workshop by senior academics and keynote speaker Professor Keith Lindsey, Durham University.
PhD and post-doctoral students presented research, listened to guest lectures, gained career advice, networked and socialised; laying the foundations for new international research collaborations.
They discussed how to solve the future problems of food security and ecosystem health, including new advances in wheat genomics and the ways plants respond to the seasons, environmental change and pathogens. Workshop participants also had the opportunity to visit the University of Bristol Botanic Gardens, which previously formed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding in plant conservation with the Botanic Gardens in Kyoto University and Universität Heidelberg.
Dr. Antony Dodd, Senior Lecturer from the School of Biological Sciences, said: “The workshop is designed to fortify this tripartite partnership and produce new and innovative collaborations whilst opening career opportunities.”
Jana Christin Askani from Universität Heidelberg said: "During this workshop in Bristol, I have experienced not only many interesting and innovative research topics that offered a broad spectrum of the latest frontiers in plant sciences, but I was also able to build personal relationships with young scientists sharing similar research interests. For us as young scientists it is very helpful to have encouraging discussions in an interactive and open environment."
The partnership between Kyoto and Bristol was formed in 2011. The developing synergies between plant scientists at the universities led to the introduction of an independent plant sciences workshop in 2014. Many research collaborations followed and Heidelberg University was incorporated to form a tripartite partnership in 2015.
Masaaki Okada from Kyoto University said: "This type of workshop is very useful, especially for us Japanese students because it provides opportunity to meet early career researchers who are working on closely related fields in foreign countries. This provides opportunities for new collaborations both within and between our fields."