UWA crop researcher recognised

Ann RawlingsCountryman
Professor Jaqueline Batley from the UWA School of Biological Sciences.
Camera IconProfessor Jaqueline Batley from the UWA School of Biological Sciences. Credit: UWA/Picture: University of WA

Breakthroughs in disease resistance aside, University of WA canola specialist Jacqueline Batley now has another accolade to her name.

The plant scientist is this year’s recipient of the Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science.

The award, which honours the late microbiologist Nancy Millis, recognises mid-career female scientists who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and established an independent research program in the natural sciences.

Professor Batley, from UWA’s School of Biological Sciences, researches crop genetics to enable breeders to produce better crops with resistance to disease and climatic conditions.

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“I’m studying the DNA of plants to better understand genes that lead to greater crop resilience,” she said.

“If we can improve the quality and quantity of crop production, this will have huge benefits globally.”

Professor Batley said one major factor of famine was crop failure.

“If we can work out ways to improve crop production security, this will have huge benefits to populations and the agricultural industry across the globe,” she said.

Professor Batley said she was honoured to be recognised with the award.

“Nancy Millis was inspirational and a great role model and I hope I can be a role model to other aspiring female scientists,” she said.

“Science is so very important in our lives.

“It means what we discover is based on fact — not just an idea — and improves our lifestyles, our health and our knowledge.”

UWA vice-chancellor Dawn Freshwater said studies centred on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly referred to as STEM, were growing in popularity, yet women were still under-represented in the area.

“This is a fantastic example of the impact talented women can make to science and how they can inspire the next generation,” she said.

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