YIELD­ING RE­SULTS

RE­SEARCH FIELD HELPS FEED THE WORLD

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - News & Advice -

DAVID Tabah is se­nior plant breeder in canola and crop re­search lead for Pa­cific Seeds.

He is a ge­neti­cist in charge of man­ag­ing the canola breed­ing pro­gram and cre­at­ing and as­sess­ing thou­sands of new va­ri­eties ev­ery year to se­lect new hy­brids for farm­ers to grow.

“We aim for higher yields, bet­ter agron­omy and bet­ter disease re­sis­tance,” he says.

To reach this point in his ca­reer, Tabah stud­ied a Mas­ter of Bi­o­log­i­cal Sciences at the Univer­sity of Oxford and pro­duced PhD re­search on molec­u­lar and clas­si­cal plant ge­net­ics while at the Univer­sity of Bris­tol.

“The best part of my role is see­ing one of my new va­ri­eties grow­ing in a farmer’s pad­dock and see­ing higher yields and in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity in gen­eral,” he says.

“You know you are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to farm­ers’ lives and you are help­ing ad­dress the wider is­sues of pro­duc­ing more food for a grow­ing world pop­u­la­tion.”

Tabah’s ad­vice for oth­ers in­ter­ested in his line of work is to com­mit to post­grad­u­ate study – at least a Mas­ter of Science but prefer­ably a PhD.

“Get as much prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence as pos­si­ble, in the field and green­house es­pe­cially,” he says.

“This is an of­ten dif­fi­cult job, highly di­verse, with lots of travel, long days and work out in the field in all weather, so make sure you keep fit.”

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