Beat Keller is a doctoral researcher at the Jülich Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-2). He has been spending one month conducting research at the University of Wollongong and at CSIRO in Canberra, Australia. He analyses the fluorescence of plants in relation to their photosynthesis rate, for example in order to recognize stress early on…
“The opportunity to conduct research in Australia during my doctoral degree at Jülich thrilled me right from the start. And now I’m actually here, in the land of kangaroos! I study plant-sun interactions together with my Australian colleagues on the campus of the University of Wollongong, located on the East coast.
The research is conducted on a former cricket field – an ideal stretch of land to observe plant fluorescence at various times of the day, since there is no shade here. But because the Australian sun burns so intensively, I had to completely recalibrate the instrument that I use to measure plant photosynthesis fluorescence.
At CSIRO research centre in Canberra, in contrast, I conduct all my measurements in greenhouses and laboratories. There – in the dry hinterland – I also had the opportunity to explore Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. This secluded, hilly region looks a bit like the Eifel – simply add kangaroos.”