Lucas has been portrayed in our newsletter

Lucas has been portrayed in our newsletter

Lucas Ogorek, Freshwater Biology Section

Lucas is a PhD student in Professor Ole Pedersen's group at the section for Freshwater Biology. Lucas started his PhD 1.5 years ago and came here from Argentina via the TALENT Doctoral Fellowship Programme.

For Lucas, like for many other PhD students, the corona pandemic has been troublesome. First and foremost, the lock-down meant that his growth experiments had to be discarded. After the labs reopened, Lucas had to start the experiments all over again, making an extension of his PhD inevitable. However, the waiting time was well spent taking Danish lessons, while sharing the notion of many others, that Danish is quite difficult to acquire.

Likewise, the pandemics has complicated the required change of research environment. Lucas should originally have been to Australia, but the opportunity passed - giving new hope for a research stay in Japan during spring. Japan also being the dream destination for a subsequent postdoc position.

Along the other researchers in Ole Pedersen's group, Lucas is working on a DANIDA founded project: "Climate-smart-African-rice" which runs for five years.
The group is working on finding traits in the roots and shoots of wild rice species that help them withstand drought, floods and high salinity soils. Next, researchers in Tanzania and in the Philippines will pursue a molecular characterization by sequencing, thus locating the genes encoding for traits of interest. These genes can then be transferred to modern, high-yielding rice species.

Asian rice have already undergone a comparable optimization process, but since the rice plant has been cultivated in different rounds in Asia and Africa, the work must be repeated to refine the African rice. The ambition is to make African rice far more robust and adapted to the dramatic climate changes of the coming years.