11 February is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Over the next two weeks we are highlighting some of the inspiring women scientists working in the Pacific Community.
Meet Maraia Dure Ravulo, SPC Laboratory Technician at CePaCT – World Centre for Taro
Describe your Work:
As a tissue culture lab technician, what I basically do is using various techniques to propagate plant tissues under aseptic conditions and produce specimens that are identical to the mother plant. My role at CePaCT mainly involves:
- Conserving the traditional and economical crops and plants of the pacific region and maintain them as tissue cultures.
- Distributing clean healthy plant genetic resources to Pacific Island countries that are tolerant to various climatic conditions such as drought, waterlogged and salinity.
- Establishment of selected crops from the field to tissue culture.
- Preparation of culture medium(semi-liquid that helps supports the growth of tissue culture plantlets)
Why did you decide to work in the science field?
Ever since I was a kid, I have always been curious on how the world around us evolve. Upon reaching high schools, I made it a ‘Must’ to pursue science and in fact explore more into the science world. 10 years down the lane, and here I am doing what I love the most. I believe science has been an important component of our everyday life as it allows us to search for truths, discovers new things and eliminates false assumptions.
What impact does your work have on the Pacific region?
At CePaCT, our goal is to assist with the agricultural development in the region through effective use of plant genetic resources.
Over the years, we have immensely contributed to resilient and food nutritional and well-managed resources in the region.
This is mostly achieved through suppling of tissue culture plantlets tolerant to certain climatic conditions such as drought, waterlogged and salinity. Apart from distributing climate resistant plantlets, we also assist countries to repatriate local crops that have been lost from the field.
Advice to other young women or girls on getting involved in STEM and its awesomeness?
There are so many interesting fields in the science world, so many amazing things to learn and discover. The areas that you choose to study are down to your own personal preferences and ambitions. If you have the passion for it ‘Go For It’.