Introducing the New Outreach Internship Student: Odette Wills

09 Jan 2014

News image

I am currently studying a PhD at the University of Exeter, with Professor Christopher Thornton. I am focusing on the fungus Trichoderma hamatum, which can increase plant growth and also protect plants against disease causing fungi.

As part of my PhD I need to complete a three-month placement and I chose to do this with BSPP outreach team. I am particularly excited about plant pathology, as it is an area which is relevant to us all through its impact on forests, gardens and farming.

The future health of British plant life is dependent on the recruitment of keen young scientists to help tackle these threats. Outreach programmes are hence a fantastic way to communicate plant science and I am thrilled to be helping the BSPP team.

During my internship I will be getting involved in a range of activities such as: 

  • Creating engaging information sheets to help communicate key facts about some of the UK's most significant plant diseases.
  • Developing interactive materials for use in secondary school.
  • Helping out at The Big Bang science fair in Birmingham. This year the annual show will be home to the BSPP Plant Doctor stand run in combination with the John Innes Centre. We will be running fun hands on activities, such games on spore dispersal, and enabling young scientists to become 'plant doctors' for the day by helping to diagnose a range of plant infections.
  • Using social media such as blog posts and Twitter to communicate plant science.

During my outreach placement I am looking forward to sharing my enthusiasm for plant pathogens, improving my communication skills and gaining new experiences and I'll be letting you know how I get on!

We are offering a second outreach internship this year! For more information read here