Ask a Question forum: I'd like to know more about Plant Geneticists

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TexasRed
Mar 27, 2017 9:52 AM CST
My name is Quinton Smith and I go to Sangamon Valley High School. Currently I am enrolled in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program, or better known as the STEM program. I have been assigned to choose a biological field of study and to learn as much about it as possible, so that i can give a presentation about it to my class. I chose the field of Plant Geneticists and I thought that the best way to obtain some information on the subject is to ask an expert. I did some research and discovered this National Gardening Association, which seems absolutely perfect for my goals. I was hoping that somebody could share with me their opinion on plant genetics, and what kind of a career it has been for them. What do professionals in this association do? What kind of schooling is required? What kind of skills are beneficial? What advice would one give to a student who is interested in pursuing the field of Plant Genetics? Any other information that you all might be able to share with me about this career would be very much appreciated.

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 27, 2017 10:48 AM CST
Welcome!

Not being one, I can't give you any information from personal experience but a start for some of your questions can be found by Googling with the search terms plant geneticist career. That brings up these pages on educational requirements, job description etc. You can go straight there from this link:

https://www.google.ca/search?q...

Good luck with your assignement. Hopefully someone else can give you some more information.
Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
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CarolHB
Mar 27, 2017 11:12 AM CST
Let's bring your questions to the attention of @Dave and see what he can do. I really want you to get all the answers and ask more questions, altho I can't answer any of them. Education is the most important thing we can do for ourselves and this is a really good place for learning.
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Dave Whitinger
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dave
Mar 27, 2017 3:34 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Quinton had emailed me earlier about this and I asked him to post here in the hopes that some members might be able to point him in the right direction. Smiling
Name: greene
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greene
Mar 27, 2017 4:19 PM CST
TexasRed said:
...I chose the field of Plant Geneticists.

...what kind of a career it has been for them.

What do professionals in this association do?

What kind of schooling is required?

What kind of skills are beneficial?

What advice would one give to a student who is interested in pursuing the field of Plant Genetics?



Lots of information available; just keep plugging in the key words. It would also be good to make an appointment at your local university to ask detailed questions.

Here are some examples.
The definition of 'plant geneticist' found on the wiki page is..."A plant geneticist is a scientist involved with the study of genetics in botany."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

How to become a plant geneticist:
http://www.academicinvest.com/...

Check with universities. Here is one example, a link for UGA/University of Georgia.
http://www.plantbreeding.uga.e...

http://study.com/articles/Plan...

This one is from the UK:
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jo...

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Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
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CarolHB
Mar 27, 2017 8:23 PM CST
dave said:Quinton had emailed me earlier about this and I asked him to post here in the hopes that some members might be able to point him in the right direction. Smiling


You really ARE a smart one, Quinton - I hope you stay in the field of horticulture in some capacity. Perhaps you will learn some things you can bring back to the forum. Please stay in touch.

Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Mar 27, 2017 9:27 PM CST
Your academic plant geneticist is usually a specialist in some aspect of inheritance, working with molecular biology and related tools to describe observed variation and how it is related to genetic information, usually in the form of nucleic acids. The choice of a particular plant as a model organism (for example Arabidopsis) may be for the purpose of convenience, in terms of techniques and tools, or for the sake of utility (crop plants).

If you want to make a career out of the academic study of plant genetics, you need advanced education (PhD) and the usual peer reviewed publications. There is a dynamic relationship between our understanding of genetics and our ability to manipulate genetics (genetic engineering), and of course plenty of industrial interest in that area. But the broad umbrella of plant genetics also includes tools to describe the variation we see in wild plants, for example. How natural populations differ, as opposed to say different species, based on their DNA. Plant genetics also includes some of the oldest and most effective techniques we have, related to breeding, which of course is central to our domestication of various plants.

I am no kind of expert. Just a one-time geneticist whose interest has turned to plants. I would say there's plenty of inspiration in observing nature's own special beauty, however that may present itself where you live... one thing which deserves a lifetime of observation is the relationship between flowers and pollinators, as they appear around you. All of that is hard-wired in genetics, yet delightfully different from case to case.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Mar 27, 2017 9:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Mar 28, 2017 12:00 AM CST
Yeah, but you still have to start somewhere. ou might want to ask one of your professors (NOT one of your teachers), for a suggestion of what to investigate. I suggest that only to bring fresh ideas to your student/teacher relationship.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Mar 28, 2017 4:04 AM CST
Yardenman said:Yeah, but you still have to start somewhere.


The best way to get started thinking like a scientist is by by cultivating curiosity, exactly what I described. Speaking as one, I have explained what specifics are needed to enter the career. The celebration of curiosity is the core requirement at the high school age. I can't think of anyone better to ask about the subject than someone who has been through it. Smiling
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Mar 28, 2017 4:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
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SunnyBorders
Mar 28, 2017 9:49 AM CST
Like the sound of the presentations, Quinton. Great to start reviewing current and future career options.

I have had the experience of teaching both university and then high school. Teaching: I came from a biological background (Human Biology/Physical Anthropology). Later, in high school, I taught Chemistry and Physics.

Suspect you've been told this: the importance of especially high school Chemistry and Maths for future work, via a university, in Biology. And then there's Physics as a potential prerequisite for some university Biology courses.
[Last edited by SunnyBorders - Mar 28, 2017 7:04 PM (+)]
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