Food security is an ever pressing global issue. It is predicted that by 2050 the world population will have risen to 9 billion people. One of the biggest obstacles for future food availability is how to sustainably feed an extra 2 billion people in less than 32 years. Climate change scenarios have forecasted that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as droughts are likely to increase.
To produce crop varieties with increased robustness, the identification of stress tolerance genes is vital. In my research, I will be looking at plant genomes which are the complete sets of genetic material within an organism. I aim to understand how plant genomes have evolved and how this has influenced plant adaptations to different environmental conditions. Application of this knowledge will lead to the development of higher yielding and sustainable crop varieties with greater nutrient and water use efficiency.