Marina Millán-Blánquez, from Spain, is a fourth year Ph.D. student at the John Innes Centre (JIC) where she studies the post-anthesis development of the unpollinated wheat carpel under the supervision of Cristóbal Uauy and Scott Boden and in collaboration with KWS and Syngenta. Marina is applying a combination of approaches, including field trials, microscopy work, machine learning, and transcriptomics to better understand the genetic processes regulating different aspects of female fertility in bread wheat. The final aim of her research is to enhance the effectiveness of hybrid wheat seed production systems by increasing cross-pollination rates of the female parent. Before starting her Ph.D., Marina was a visiting student at JIC as part of the Erasmus+ Traineeship Program where she worked on characterizing a gene responsible for grain size in wheat. Previously to that, she received her bachelor’s degree in Genetics from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). Marina has also worked at the CRAG in Barcelona and Centro IFAPA-La Mojonera (Spain).
“To me, the most exciting aspect of receiving this award is the opportunity to share it with all the wonderful female scientists around me. It makes me extremely happy to be able to contribute to a more inclusive and diverse scientific community, where women are encouraged and supported to achieve their full potential.”Marina Millán Blánquez