After my Masters in Lund I worked with the Department of Primary Industries in Melbourne, Australia with invasive plant biological control using rust fungi. I then found a PhD position with the CSIRO in 2013. The CSIRO is the leading research organization in Australia and is credited with inventions such as Wi-Fi and soft contact lenses, and world-renowned climate change research.
I am now an invasive plant pathology PhD student at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University, but am based at the CSIRO in Brisbane, Australia. My work involves finding the cause of dieback in invasive plants, and its potential for use as biological control of these weeds, in order to reduce the use of herbicides and avoid their expensive physical removal in northern Australia.
I love working with science communication and represented my university at the Trans-Tasman Three-Minute Thesis in 2014. Last year I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and I used it to visit the University of California Berkeley for 9 months as a part of my PhD, to conduct Next-Gen sequencing of endophytes associated with disease in invasive plants. I got to conduct field work in Arizona and Texas, and use the incredible laboratories and expertise at Berkeley.
I am now back in Brisbane and in my final PhD year, analyzing data and writing my thesis. I met my wonderful husband, Bastian, while at Lund University and we have been married now for 3 years. I am a firm believer in putting yourself in the way of opportunity and expanding your horizons beyond your field.
Throughout my education I have made the most of every opportunity including field work, conferences, workshops and travel, and this has exposed me to fascinating research and world leaders in science. I hope to move on to a Post-Doctoral position next year in biological control and biosecurity.
Tracey Steinrucken, graduated in 2012, PhD student
Master's degree in Biology, with special focus on Plant Ecology