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National Science Week – Interview with Dr Pallavi

For National Science Week we interviewed a few of our board members, partners and researchers. Today we are showcasing one of our project researchers, Dr Pallavi.

Tell us about yourself.

I am thankful for the opportunity to talk about my background and experiences as a plant researcher. I have always been deeply mesmerised by the environment, particularly the complexity and beauty of plants. This passion and love towards the plant sciences led me to pursue a career in plant biology and plant research. I have been engaged in various research studies that have allowed me to explore different aspects of plant behaviour. From understanding plant growth and development to studying the interactions between plants and the environment, I enjoy unravelling the mysteries that the plant world presents.

What inspired you to become a scientist?

I have been captivated by the botanical world since childhood. As I grew up, I became aware of environmental issues, such as population growth, climate change and limitation of natural resources. Plants play a crucial role in the ecosystem and in maintaining sustainable life on Earth. My passion towards unfolding the mysteries of physiological and biochemical changes in plants in response to the environment and environmental stress and concern towards environmental issues inspired me to pursue a career as a plant scientist.

What’s your current position?

I am working as a Research Associate in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Western Australia. I am working on a project funded by CRC TiME, where we are trying to improve the nutrient constituent of tailing materials to maintain vegetation and nurture a self-sustaining ecosystem.

Tell us about your project and what its primary goal is?

The primary goal of the project ‘Revegetating iron-ore mine waste using a novel eco-engineering pioneer plant-microbe systems’ is to identify major physical and chemical constraints of tailings for plant establishment and to investigate the effectiveness of pioneer legume and non-legume plant species establishing in mine waste and tailings materials. Our primary goal is to improve the nutritional status and physical properties of Australian mine tailings by using composted biosolid and N-fertiliser, that can support the growth of vegetation planted in the tailings.

What makes you so passionate about your project?

As a plant researcher, I always wanted that my work contributes to the betterment of society. The project is funded by CRC TiME, and it has given me an opportunity to work for the betterment of plant ecosystems, human life, and the environment. There has been mining in the Pilbara for over 60 years, and there is limited evidence of successful rehabilitation as I am working to investigate the use of soil ameliorants to improve in situ remediation for future restoration. Looking ahead, my primary goal is to maintain a self-sustaining ecosystem and conserve biodiversity. I want to be able to raise awareness and educate the public about the importance of nature, plants and sustainable practices that will help them to make environmentally conscious and friendly decisions. Additionally, I am eager to work towards preserving plant species and habitats to balance our ecosystem and maintain Australian biodiversity.

How does being involved with CRC TiME help support your love of science?

CRC TiME gave me an opportunity to work towards preserving Australian native plant species and their habitats to preserve biodiversity, support habitat for wildlife and balance our ecosystems. I am on a beautiful path in life, and it motivates me every day. I am committed to making a positive impact on the environment.