Urmil Bansal

2018 Women in Triticum Mentor Award

Urmil Bansal leads the development and validation of molecular markers linked with rust resistance genes in wheat as Molecular Geneticist at the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute (PBI), Cobbitty. She completed her PhD in Genetics from the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, India. Urmil worked as associate professor of genetics in India before joining PBI in a GRDC Australian-funded Australian Winter Cereal Molecular Marker Program. She worked extensively on the discovery and mapping of new rust resistance genes in wheat, which are being used by wheat breeders worldwide. Urmil has mentored 29 MSc and PhD students of which 16 were women, including 2014 WIT Early Career Award winner, Dr. Naeela Qureshi, and is currently supervising five PhD students. Urmil’s efforts to train the next generation of wheat researchers in enabling technologies to achieve food security through combating rust diseases is highly valued by the Australian and global wheat communities.