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The project is pioneering the use of VR technology for comprehensive, curriculum-aligned education.
“With VPC, we want to capitalise on new technology to make learning science exciting, engaging and effective.
The work should be done within 10 years of the candidate submitting their Ph D.
“I am very grateful for the support of my colleagues and mentors.
The main focus of Caitlin’s research is identifying traits that influence cereal crop productivity. The Peter Goldacre Award honours the memory and attainments of Peter Goldacre, a young scientist and foundation member of the ASPS.
The Award is made on the merit of original research in one area, the findings of which have been published, or accepted for publication, in the three years preceding the year of the Award.
Caitlin is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology at the Waite Research Precinct.
“At 20°C they were fine but at 24°C they suffered really badly.” ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology Director Professor Harvey Millar said climate change was poised to deliver a double blow to wheat plants, with both increasing temperatures and a greater chance of flooding.Classroom VPC will be run on high-end VR headsets, called Oculus Rifts, allowing a whole class of students to explore the microscopic inner world of a plant in an immersive way.Students can interact with the cell and learn about complex processes. The pilot program will help to determine if VR is useful in helping students learn science.“Today we now know that amino acids play an important role in how plants respond to a lack of oxygen.“Based on this new research we may be able to come up with a breeding solution, because after 2000 years we finally understand the mechanism behind the damage to wheat.” Plants get nutrients and minerals like phosphorus from the soil via their root systems.
In research published today in the journal Scientific Reports, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology scientists at the University of Western Australia studied what happens when wheat plants cannot get enough oxygen because of flooding. They found the wheat was more susceptible to damage from flooding as the temperature got warmer - only to later read a Roman farming handbook that hinted at the same effect.