The Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme is a separate element of the Discovery Program. The DECRA scheme will provide more focused support for researchers and create more opportunities for early-career researchers in both teaching and research, and research-only positions.
Benjamin Schwessinger received a DECRA (DE150101897) for 2015-2017 inclusive in Evolutionary Ecology:
Fungal crop pathogen epidemics lead to severe yield losses worldwide, impact national economies and individual human lives. Wheat stripe rust fungal epidemics caused by new virulent races can lead to 80% reduction in yield. I will investigate the molecular mechanisms leading to newly virulent races by whole genome, epigenome and transcriptome comparison of several wheat stripe rust races. This research will fundamentally advance our understanding of evolutionary forces driving virulence and specification at the whole (epi-)genome level in important fungal crop pathogens. This will promote new crop protection strategies important for local and global food security in an ever-changing environment.