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Sabrina starts on a pathway to new research

Ashwini SaseedaranSouth Western Times

Australind resident Sabrina Davies was among 17 young Australians awarded a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship last month to undertake postgraduate studies.

Ms Davies will benefit from up to $120,000 to study a PhD in Biological Sciences at University of Western Australia where she plans to research karrikins, which are compounds found in bushfire smoke that kickstart plant germination.

The former Australind Senior High School student’s research could help support national and international applications in agriculture, conservation and plant restoration.

“If we can figure out how plants germinate via this biochemical pathway, we can apply the knowledge to problems in agriculture, conservation and restoration whether it be tweaking the pathway to suit different climates or increasing germination rates to help address global food shortages,” Ms Davies said.

She said scholarships like this benefited regional communities by helping get ideas off the ground.

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“Being able to undertake my PhD through the Westpac program will give me access to invaluable networks and resources – whether that be knowledge and collaboration of other scholars, the leadership development training, and overseas networks and experiences,” Ms Davies said.

“Opportunities like this scholarship are really important because it gives people living in regional communities a chance to do all this and show Australia and the world what we’ve got.”

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