I came to ANU with a broad interest in geography but didn’t know exactly what I wanted to study. However, as I completed my final semester of coursework I realised that over the last three years at ANU I had discovered how much I love and am fascinated by plants.
The flexible and interdisciplinary nature of studying at the Fenner School has meant that I have been able to take a broad range of courses that complement my degree from agriculture and agronomy in Adelaide to sociology, biology and chemistry back here in Canberra. Furthermore, I have been able to take individual research projects in areas of particular interest, such as working in the lab to look at heat stress in eucalyptus leaves, improving DNA extraction protocols for brown algae or researching attitudes towards rice-growing in the Murray Darling Basin.
Additionally the fieldwork component of many courses has been fantastic. During semesters I have had the opportunity to gain a practical experience at least one afternoon a week in areas all around Canberra, and I have been fortunate enough to go on longer adventures collecting soil from Monarto SA, working in vineyards in Adelaide and the Barossa Valley, exploring snow-covered forests in the Australian Alps, touring saw and pulp mills and collecting plant specimens in Jervis Bay.
I plan to complete a botany-related Honours project in 2015 and afterwards I have dreams of working in a herbarium, national park or undertaking further studies in curatorial practice. I feel so lucky to have had an amazing, unique and life-changing undergraduate experience in Fenner working with inspiring students and academics that leaves me excited about what the future will bring.