Monogram 2013

Categories: conferences, guest blogger
Comments: No Comments
Published on: May 17, 2013
Laura Dixon

This is a guest post from Laura Dixon, post-doc at the John Innes Centre.

Monogram, the UK small grains conference, was hosted by the James Hutton Institute in Dundee. The conference, which was attended by scientists, breeders and companies showcased the research projects and technologies recently developed for small grains research. In particular, the conference was used to discuss the best approaches the community could use for utilising the rapid advances in sequencing technologies, such as the wheat affymetric chips and the how to approach more controversial topics including the genetic modification of cereals.

The talks ranged from reporting the latest scientific developments to promoting new technologies and resources including huge germplasm collections. The conference had a strong theme of the progress being made in sequencing and constructing a consensus genetic map in wheat and the complexities faced through the highly repetitive hexaploid genome. This theme was established in the keynote talk from Catherine Feuillet, which linked Monogram and to PlantSci 2013. The conference also played host to the first annual Early Career Researcher in Cereals Award, which was presented to Dr. Christopher Burt from the John Innes Centre for his work on understanding disease resistance in wheat.

Next year’s Monogram conference will be hosted by Rothamsted.

Dundee’s week of plant science conferences

Categories: conferences, UKPSF
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: April 23, 2013

Well, what felt like the biggest week of the year for UK plant science is now over. Last week, the UK Plant Phenomics Network meetingUK PlantSci 2013, and Monogram all happened at the University of Dundee. It was a whirlwind week of inspirational talks, updates, people, and a drop or two of Scottish whiskey.

PlantSci 2013 was the second annual conference organised by the UK Plant Sciences Federation. Representatives from fields as wide-ranging as basic and applied research, industry, molecular biology, ecology, and science communication spoke to an auditorium packed with people from all stages of their careers.

I have committed myself to no less than 3 write-ups of PlantSci 2013, so I won’t blog about it here, but I will do my best to write up David Baulcombe’s keynote talk as soon as I can. As far as I know, it hasn’t had a write-up yet and was very inspirational. However, until I can share my reports, there are plenty of PlantSci-related media to immerse yourself in.

The extraordinarily talented Rebecca Nesbit of the Society of Biology managed to write-up two sessions of PlantSci 2013 while live-tweeting. Her post on the first keynote talk, ‘Feeding 10 Billion People on a Finite Planet’ is here and her second post, on the Inspiring Future Generations session, is here.

At one point the conference hashtag #plantsci2013 was one of the most used phrases on Twitter! Twitter coverage of the conference extended well beyond the lecture theatre in Dundee as people all over the world followed the conference by the live-tweets and interacted with delegates who were present. For a fairly comprehensive overview of all the talks and the conference in general, take a look at the Storify I made of the Twitter feed. The shortlinks in the tweets will take you to papers or resources the speakers mentioned in their talks.

Monogram is the annual conference on UK small grain cereal and grass research, again attended by breeders and other stakeholders as well as basic and applied researchers. The Monogram blog will soon have a post about the conference, but in the mean time the Storify of tweets from the meeting is here.

Image credit: left image, Anne Osterrieder, right image, Charis Cook


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