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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M plant symposium debuts in MSC

Photo by Shelby Knowles
Students presented research posters and networked Thursday in the MSC throughout the day-long symposium.
 
Photo by Shelby Knowles Students presented research posters and networked Thursday in the MSC throughout the day-long symposium.  

Graduate students had the opportunity to showcase their work and learn about new technologies Thursday at Texas A&M’s first Plant Breeding Symposium.
Three graduate students had the opportunity to give speeches on their work at the symposium, and 28 other students displayed their work on poster boards for attendees to view. Francisco Gomez, plant breeding and genetics graduate student and one of the student speakers, said the symposium was a great opportunity for students to learn more about each other’s work.
“You’ve been working on your research really hard and being able to share it with people, getting feedback and questions is always a good outlet,” Gomez said. “It’s important to learn, to explain your work to others instead of it just sitting in a box on your computer”
Gomez spoke at the symposium on his use of mechanical engineering techniques to help measure and improve the structural integrity of plants. Plant breeders use a variety of tools to do their work, and Gomez said this type of interdisciplinary research was a way to add another tool to his plant breeding toolbox.
Nolan Bentley, horticulture doctoral candidate and symposium poster presenter, said spreading knowledge about the plant breeding industry is important because it is a large and varied field that has a major impact on food production.
“It benefits all of us because we’re sharing what’s going on, new trends, new discoveries,” Bentley said. “What you’re seeing here is work that may have happened as soon as a week ago. This may be the first place you see an idea and so if you want to jump ahead you can come to these things and see something really interesting that spurs you on to future ideas and experiments.”
Nikhil Patil, molecular and environmental plant science doctoral candidate and symposium poster presenter, said symposiums like this allow networking opportunities.
“You get to know a lot about the different research that other people are doing and at the same time showcase your own,” Patil said. “This was the first plant breeding symposium to be held at Texas A&M and it was nice to be able to present research to fellow A&M students.”
The plant breeding symposium was also streamed live online, where it garnered viewers from as far away as South America and Europe. This gave speakers the chance to answer questions not only from people physically at the event, but also from people watching online.

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