Karen Brock, from Winkleigh in Tasmania, has been awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship, supported by Horticulture Australia Limited using voluntary contributions from Nuffield Australia and matched funds from the Australian Government.
Karen hopes to reduce the assessment time of soft berry fruit by developing a technique for datamarking of genetic points in the plant.
With her husband Tim Phillips, Karen owns and operates Brocklands Pty Ltd, a diversified horticultural business, supplying plants and tissue culture material to the soft berry fruit and truffle industries, operating a tissue culture laboratory and running a joint venture raspberry breeding program among other operations.
Their 89 hectare farm consists of 52 hectares of commercial forestry plantation and 10 hectares of wetlands, with the balance in production with greenhouses, hard standing areas for potted plants and open ground production areas for raspberry breeding stock and rose production.
Karen says at present it takes up to three years to get new soft berry fruits to market for assessment, however she believes this time could be halved by using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology to develop a techniques for detecting pathogens. More