>>Press Release: December 12th 2014<<
Dr Caitlin Byrt, a Postdoctoral Associate researcher at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology’s University of Adelaide node has become the inaugural recipient of the Edith Emily Dornwell Early Career Research Medal.
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Dr Byrt’s research expertise is in plant physiology. Her specific research interests include investigating salt tolerance mechanisms in wheat, ion transport in cereal crops and the assessment and modification of crops for biofuel and chemical industries.
Excessive salt in soils can limit the productivity of crops. The area of salt-affected agricultural land is predicted to double by the year 2050. This presents a challenge that can be addressed with the production of crops with improved salt-tolerance.
Dr Byrt’s research into molecular mechanisms that increase the salt-tolerance of wheat plants has contributed to the production of a wheat variety capable of a 25% improvement in yield when grown in saline soil, compared with other varieties. This is a positive outcome for farmers and for global food security.
When not performing her research Dr Byrt enjoys being mother to two young sons, aged one and three years old.
The new Edith Emily Dornwell Early Career Research Medal recognises excellence in early-career research at the University of Adelaide. The medal has been named after the University’s first female graduate (Bachelor of Science, 1885). The University of Adelaide was the second university in the world to have allowed the award of degrees to women.