Pierre-Mathieu Pélissier, first author of Lateral root formation and nutrients: nitrogen in the spotlight
Current Position: PhD fellow – Biochemistry and Biotechnologies, VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, Gent, Belgium.
Education: MSc – Agronomy engineer specialized in plant breeding and biotechnology (Bordeaux Sciences Agro, Bordeaux, France).
Non-scientific Interests: Hiking, swimming, gardening
Brief bio: I studied agronomy in Bordeaux where I discovered several methods and techniques to improve agriculture yields. During these studies, I did an internship in the Seed biotechnology Research Center at UC Davis (California, USA) to improve lettuce germination at elevated temperatures. This triggered my interest in plant bioengineering and plant breeding to work towards a more sustainable agriculture, and I joined the INP-ENSAT Agronomical school in Toulouse (France) to specialize in this domain during my last MSc year. Here, I learned about how to research and manage innovations in plant sciences, how to develop improved plant varieties and how biotechnologies can be applied in agronomy to increase yields and sustainability. In this perspective, I joined the Root Development laboratory of Tom Beeckman at the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology in Gent, Belgium. I studied here the effects of different nitrogen feedstocks on rice transcriptome with the goal to contribute to improving this crop nitrogen use efficiency. I also conducted a chemical compound screen to find nitrogen fertilizer additives to increase their use by the plants, hence limiting nitrogen losses in the environment causing economic and environmental damages. I aim in my career to use plant biotechnologies and to innovate to improve agronomy and agriculture sustainability.