Hans H. Ruthenberg Award for Graduates

The Hans Hartwig Ruthenberg Graduate Award is given to the promising young scientist who work for improving the farming system and constantly fight for hunger. This year Ulrike and Sarah were honored.

Ulrike Beckert is presenting her rewarded Master thesis

Ulrike Beukert

How will we feed the growing population and high demand of rice in the future? For a long time, plant breeding has been popular answer to this question. However, flat results and high use of resources is a growing challenge. Ulrike Beukert, Plant Breeding student from Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg has a new approach to rice breeding. Her research on “Genome-based identification of heterotic patterns in rice,” used only small selection of hybrid to predict the entire parent-line. Applying bio-statistic analysis of yield and gene marker data, she can increase the prediction accuracy and improve yield.

The competitive parent combination resulting from her work will be a great source for development of new seeds. Ulrikes´s work is a significant contribution towards saving resources in plant breeding. “I hope this method can be applied to other plants, especially staple foods.“ she said.

Sarah Luisa Senz

Sarah´s research on “Adoption of Agro-Ecological Farming Practices in Burkina Faso” was also honored with the Hans H. Ruthenberg Award for Graduates this year. She focused her research on small holder farmers in Burkina Faso. Her innovation in combining quantitative and qualitative methods to compare different cultivation techniques make her stand out. “It looks like simple work, but it has high impact,“ said Dr. Michael Frei, the jury.


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