One of eight plant interns
Sydney University student Susan Rutherford of Woy Woy is one of eight young scientists to win a place in a seven-week internship with the plant science experts at Sydney's Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust.
Ms Rutherford and her fellow interns spent a week at the Crommelin Native Arboretum in Pearl Beach where they sampled vegetation types ranging from the Hawkesbury sandstone bush to the mudflats and mangroves of Patonga Creek.
"It was a very hot week to be out in the field.
"However, the heat did not stem their enthusiasm to work all day and well into the night identifying plant specimens," said Botanic Garden flora botanist Ms Louisa Murray.
Ms Rutherford collected plant specimens that will be added into the collection of 1.2 million specimens in the herbarium located at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
She also learnt how to mount and store these specimens.
"I will start my PhD this year and the experience I have had with Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust experts has guided my botany focus," said Ms Rutherford.
Trust executive director Dr Tim Entwisle said: "These science students from universities across New South Wales have access to some of the best scientists in Australia, working in one of the most exciting work places for a budding botanist, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
"They've had intensive training in plant and ecosystem conservation, plant disease and plant identification," said Dr Entwisle.
The internship aims to provide a holistic teaching approach, focusing on the skills scientists will need in the field, providing seminars with senior scientists, teaching the skills they will need in the science job market as well as encouraging the interns to learn from each other as they work in teams within the herbarium, horticultural research and plant pathology laboratories.
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