As an undergraduate student Fiona majored in Plant Science and was awarded the W.D. Jackson Prize for greatest proficiency in third year and the J Malcom Gillies scholarship to study honours. Fiona completed her honours degree and received awards for the best honours genetics thesis and was also rewarded with the University Medal, the highest award given to an undergraduate student.
After honours Fiona commenced a PhD examining the genetic variation in wood chemistry of Eucalyptus globulus. From this PhD research Fiona has published several co-authored papers in international journals and presented at conferences overseas.
Fiona’s efforts in research were recognised when she was awarded the Southern Cross Tasmanian Young Achievers Award for Science and Technology. Fiona’s work on wood properties has been examining how we can best measure and screen large numbers of Eucalyptus globulus trees for their lignin content and composition to find those best suited for pulping. Her research could help save money and waste in the timber industry and could potentially reduce pollution and environmental impacts.
Fiona submitted her PhD thesis and is now working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture. This work involves identifying varieties of potato that are resistant to tomato spotted wilt virus and determining the molecular mechanisms of this resistance.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Plant Science. I have not only learnt a great deal about plants and genetics but have made life-long friends there as well. The Plant Science department integrates many different fields so it provides an excellent grounding for a future career in various areas and because of this it is a great degree to do at both undergraduate and post graduate levels. The highlights of my time in Plant Science were simply sitting around chatting over Friday night beers, attending big international conferences and playing crib and 500 for hours on end."
Authorised by the Head of School, Plant Science
27 March, 2012