Using current regulations and practices to develop a certification scheme for native seed production in Europe

ESR 11C - Holly Abbandonato

I fell in love with plants at a young age, and have spent my life immersed in everything plants, from gardening, hiking, photography, aromatherapy, etc. I completed Bachelor of Science in Environment and Natural Resources, a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and a Bachelor of Anthropology at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. I completed a Masters Degree in Biology at UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

For my Masters degree, I conducted fieldwork in Svalbard, title: Autumn senescence response to a changing climate: effects of snow-depth on High Arctic plants, and I worked with a colleague on measuring recovery rates of wet tundra plant species to goose grazing as part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). 

I have a passion for science communicatiton and my main academic interests lie in plant taxonomy, diversity, ecology, and horticulture, and I greatly enjoy integrating these with other fields such as conservation, entomology, geology and anthropology. 

I am very excited to have been selected as a NASSTEC Early Stage Researcher as this project collaborates with many well-known botanical institutions, industries, projects, and people, providing the opportunity for networking between colleagues and leading experts in the field of seed science and technology. 

My PhD project takes an interdisciplinary approach to encourage a sustainable and dynamic European native seed industry incorporating aspects of policy, seed quality, and certification. 

The specific aims are (a) to establish the current state of regulations and practices across Europe, (b) to identify quality requirements for genetic conservation and plant establishment, and (c) to develop a certification scheme for European native species that is grounded in findings of NASSTEC and meets the grower’s needs with emphasis on using native seeds for grassland restoration.

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