Amali Welgama, Wheat Breeding Pathologist
"The work we’re completing as part of BASF’s Wheat Breeding Program Australia in Longerenong, Victoria, is about ensuring sustainability in agriculture.
Our program focusses on evaluating and identifying new germplasm for Australian wheat, looking at better agronomic performance and major wheat diseases. This is an essential process that helps anticipate challenges a grower may encounter in their businesses.
We utilise resources and data to develop advanced wheat breeding lines and adapted varieties with improved characteristics. Personally, I am responsible for disease identification and screening, which provides growers with the assurance that their crops will stand up to emerging disease risk.
I was born and raised in Sri Lanka, until I moved to Australia in 2017 to pursue my PhD. I secured a scholarship from Federation University to complete my PhD project on identifying the effect of different herbicide strategies on controlling herbicide resistant weeds and their effect on herbicide tolerant crops.
My PhD project, conducted in collaboration with GRDC and Agriculture Victoria, allowed me to get hands-on experience in many agronomic practices including herbicide application strategies, field experimental designing, managing, assessing, harvesting etc.
Following my studies, I jumped straight into the Wheat Breeding Program Australia with BASF Australia. With my knowledge and experiences, I look forward to contributing towards sustainable agriculture and farming practices in Australia.
As an agricultural scientist, I’m passionate about bringing the practical aspects of laboratory research findings to the real world - where the true impact can be seen. I love giving growers control over their future, and help maximise yields while conserving their farming environment."