After completing BSc (Hon) and MSc degrees at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Brett looked to continue his studies abroad. In keeping with this goal, Brett declined the prestigious Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Post Graduate Scholarship B award and began looking for opportunities outside of his native Canada.
He stumbled upon a scholarship opportunity for an international student to undertake a PhD degree in the discipline of their choice at the University of Tasmania. Brett worked diligently to design a proposal that integrated his studies investigating nitrogen-fixing root nodules with that of the existing research of UTAS.
The overall aim of the project being that understanding nodule development would allow for the process to be optimised in the field, thereby reducing fertilisation requirements which are environmentally and monetarily costly. Brett efforts were acknowledged, as he was awarded both the Tasmanian International Research Scholarship and the Thomas Crawford Memorial Scholarship.
Brett’s research led to a number of scientific publications. He finished the first draft of his PhD thesis and, along with his wife, welcomed their first child into the world. Brett is now working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. His current work involves identifying the signaling interactions required for shoot branching. Controlling shoot branching has enormous potential implications in agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors.
"Living in Tasmania and studying in the School of Plant Science was an amazing experience. The nurturing environment provided by the School of Plant Science was ideal for me to obtain the skills I needed to grow as a researcher. My wife and I came to Tasmania knowing no one, but left having gained a number of friends. Upon the fulfilment of my studies we were extremely sad to leave, but I look forward to returning to Tasmania to visit friends and continue collaborative working relationships."
Authorised by the Head of School, Plant Science
27 March, 2012