Karen’s research is focused on the improvement of cereal crops using genomic and biotechnological tools, enhancing their qualities and performance for the food and feed industries. Her work utilises the targeted and precise manipulation of genes and their networks in hopes of further understanding these complex systems and concurrently expediting genetic gains for seamless integration into breeding programs. As a post-doctoral researcher, she is currently modulating the branching patterns in a variety of cereal crops to understand and improve their drought tolerance strategies, with dreams of advancing these initiatives to be able to tweak the design of crops to be tailored for specific environments. Karen is a strong advocate for the benefits of biotechnology and GM plants for sustainable food uses.

Researcher biography

Dr. Karen Massel is a biotechnologist with expertise utilising CRISPR/Cas9 genomic editing in cereal crops, focused on improving grain quality and abiotic stress tolerance. Current projects involve dissemenating the genetic networks that underpin drought adaptation in sorghum and barley.