September 19, 2018
International Speaker to headline Don Rix Distinguished Keynote
Vancouver, BC – Professor Pamela Ronald, plant geneticist at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and colleagues are working to feed a growing population without further destroying the environment. As the world population grows and the availability of arable land and fresh water is increasingly strained, these efforts are essential.
Prof. Ronald is in Vancouver today for Genome BC’s 9th annual Don Rix Distinguished Keynote to address issues of food production and food security. Prof. Ronald’s talk, Serving up Science: Plant Genomics and the Future of Food, will focus on how genomic approaches are being used to generate the next generation of crops that will help farmers thrive across the globe.
Prof. Ronald’s lab at UC Davis studies genes that control resistance to disease and tolerance of environmental stress. Together with her collaborators, she has engineered rice for resistance to disease and tolerance to flooding. The positive impacts of these collaborations led to the development of a flood tolerant rice variety (known as ‘Sub1’ rice) produced by the International Rice Research Institute that was cultivated by over six million farmers in India and Bangladesh in 2017. Under submerged conditions, these ‘Sub1’ varieties have enhanced yield and can prevent crop failure.
“We have a huge challenge in front of us”, says Prof. Ronald, “Let’s celebrate scientific progress and use it wisely. It is our responsibility to do everything we can to alleviate human suffering and safeguard the environment.”
Ronald is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at UC Davis where she also serves as founding Director of the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy. In 2018 she served as a visiting Professor in Stanford’s Center for Food Security and the Environment and is the co-author of the book: Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food.
Genome BC is proud to present Prof. Pamela Ronald to the Vancouver community. This will be her first major keynote talk in Vancouver after her popular TED Talk The Case for Engineering our Food reached over 1.5 million people.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos and limited interviews available; please contact Genome BC.