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Bettina Berger

Scientific director

Science careers

Bettina Berger’s love of nature sowed the seeds for a successful career in research and science leadership

Watching grass grow is a famous way to describe something boring – but there’s nothing boring about the research going on at The Plant Accelerator, especially if you love plants as much as its scientific director, Bettina.

Located at the University of Adelaide, the Plant Accelerator is Australia’s biggest automated research greenhouse. There, scientists literally watch plants grow, generating data that informs research into topics such as crop growth, with implications for everything from feeding the world’s growing population to combating climate change. “We might work on heat tolerance in grapevines one day and hay quality in oats the next. It never gets boring and there’s always a new challenge,” Bettina says.

As scientific director, Bettina explains that it’s her job to translate between research disciplines at the centre. “Increasingly, research questions require a diverse group of experts to work together: biologists, data scientists and engineers,” she says.

Bettina’s study and career pathway

  • Undergraduate diploma (biology), University of Tuebingen, Germany
  • Master of Biotechnology, University of Strasbourg, France
  • PhD (molecular plant biology), University of Cologne, Germany
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Adelaide
  • Scientific director, The Plant Accelerator

This article was brought to you in partnership with the University of Adelaide was originally published in Careers with STEM: Science.


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