QAAFI researcher Charlotte Rambla wins international Borlaug award

A Queensland researcher has been recognised with an international award for her work to protect food security around the world.

Charlotte Rambla, a PhD candidate at The University of Queensland, received a 2022 Jeanie Borlaug Laube Women in Triticum Early Career award in honour of her wheat research.

She is joined by six other wheat scientists from China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Morocco, and Pakistan.

The WIT Early Career Award, announced by Borlaug Global Rust Initiative, provides early career women working in wheat with the opportunity for additional training, mentorship, and leadership opportunities.

Daughter of Nobel Prize-winner Norman E. Borlaug, Jeanie Borlaug Laube, said serving as BGRI chair had allowed her to cultivate and encourage the next generation of wheat researchers.

"These seven women are strong advocates for achieving my father's goal of global food security," she said.

Charlotte Rambla is a PhD candidate in the Lee Hickey Lab at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at UQ St Lucia.

She completed her bachelor's degree and master's degree at the University of Padova in Italy and now studies the root system of wheat to aid in the development of elite wheat varieties by integrating a range of tools.

These include a novel single plant selection method for root traits, marker-assisted selection for key root genes, and rapid backcrossing using speed breeding.

"I am truly honoured and grateful for receiving this award along with all these amazing women from all over the world," Ms Rambla said.

BGRI science director Maricelis Acevedo said this cohort of award winners were from a broad geographic range, which spoke to the worldwide importance of wheat.

"The threats to wheat - such as climate change, biotic stresses, and human conflict - are global and require a global response," Prof Acevedo said.

"Answering these challenges will require collaboration of a global community of scientists and the 2022 WIT awardees cohort takes their place among our previous winners."

Since founding the WIT awards in 2010, the BGRI has recognised 66 early career award winners and 12 mentors from 27 different countries.

The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Research contact: Charlotte Rambla,

Media contact: Natalie MacGregor,, +61 (0)409 135651.

Last updated:
4 July 2022