Month: October 2014

Moving indoors – Internship at The Plant Accelerator

Dominik Nieberg, a Master student in mechatronic engineering and research assistant at the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück (UAS OS), is currently undertaking a two-month internship at The Plant Accelerator in Adelaide. His colleagues at UAS OS and collaborators at the University of Hohenheim work on optimising various sensor technologies for field phenotyping, such as integrated in the ‘BreedVision’ platform. One of those sensors is a light curtain array that generates shadow images.

While ordinary light curtains have a resolution of about 2.5 mm, Dominik is currently testing a novel, high-resolution sensor developed by iotec GmbH (Osnabrück, Germany) with a 64 µm resolution, allowing to measure plant organs and structures in detail. A curtain of laser light travels from a source to a detector positioned on opposite sides of the object of interest – in this case on opposite sides of the conveyor belt operating at The Plant Accelerator. As plants travel along the conveyor past the light curtain, the laser light is interrupted and 2D shadow images are generated at high resolution.

The internship at The Plant Accelerator allows Dominik to test the hardware on various plant species at different developmental stages. In addition, the data extracted from the shadow images can be compared and calibrated against the data gathered by the phenotyping equipment already present at The Plant Accelerator. During his internship, Dominik is working on optimising the hardware setup and analysing the shadow images to extract phenotypic traits of different plant species, such as height, area or morphological parameters.


Aris Hairmansis receives Award for Excellence – Learning

BlogArisAward2014Dr Aris Hairmansis has been a PhD student at the University of Adelaide under the Australia Awards Scheme, jointly supervised by Dr Stuart Roy (ACPFG), Dr Bettina Berger (APPF) and Professor Mark Tester (KAUST).

Aris’ PhD thesis on ‘Modifying sodium transport to improve salinity tolerance of commercial rice cultivars (Oryza sativa L.)’ has been accepted earlier this year, and his hard work has now been recognised by an Award for Excellence – Learning, which was awarded by the Australia Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Greg Moriarty, at an Australia Awards Alumni Dinner in Jakarta earlier this month.

With his eagerness to learn and energy in overcoming obstacles during his PhD, Aris has set an example for fellow students and supervisors alike. Congratulations on receiving this very special award, Aris. It is very well deserved and we wish you all the best for the future!

Eat Local – Feed Global

It is World Food Day on 16 October and The Plant Accelerator Team is supporting the Oxfam Initiative ‘Eat Local – Feed Global’ with a work lunch of delicious home cooked meals.

As part of their GROW campaign, Oxfam supports and trains small scale farmers to prepare for the effects of climate change.

If you would like to support this worthy cause you can make donations here.