As a plant breeder you will work on improving the quality and performance of existing agricultural and horticultural crops and create new varieties of plants.
What does a Plant Breeder do?
Plant Breeders may perform the following tasks:
- produce research aims and objectives, and predict the cost of the work
- research methods and techniques for improving plant breeding
- identify and select plants exhibiting desirable traits, based on natural genetic variation
- cross plants to produce new breeding material for field and glasshouse trials
- analyse and scientifically assess plant breeding in laboratory and field trials and select the best varieties
- conduct scientific projects, which may be laboratory based, especially in the winter months
- multiply up and produce virus-free plants
- maintain detailed records throughout the research and development cycle
- manage, support and train technical and field staff
- keep up to date in the fast-moving area of science and translate ideas from scientific literature into new approaches to breeding problems
- monitor the activities of competitors (in commercial settings) and develop a product market profile
- respond to enquiries from farmers, agronomists and other professionals
- write and present work to other scientists and publish scientific findings
- liaise with and visit other scientists, commercial breeders and funding bodies.
What personal requirements will you need?
- enthusiasm, commitment and a strong interest in plants and plant science
- good problem-solving skills
- excellent oral and written communication skills
- the ability to carry out work independently and with patience
- a flexible approach
- the ability and stamina to undertake research and long-term projects
- the skills to manage a busy laboratory
- strong team-working skills
- an analytical and investigative mind
- computer literacy and technical skills, as most laboratories are highly computerised.
The University of Western Australia