Professor Elizabeth Wellington asks a pertinent question in these times of swingeing cuts in universities. Are we training enough young scientists for the future?
She is in no doubt of the calibre of youngsters coming up, nor of the importance of the work they can do. Moreoever for the first time in her career, she’s noticing productive collaborations between biologists and physical scientists ranging from soil scientists to mathematicians and engineers, a trend that can only continue and to great beneficial effect. There are wide-ranging aspects of particular problems that need addressing.
But the question remains: Are we training enough of young scientists for the future?
Professor Liz Wellington is an environmental microbiologist, and has been involved in ecological research and soil microbiology for over 20 years. With a personal Chair, she is part of the Microbiology section within the Department of Biological Sciences at Warwick University, and was co-director of the Warwick Systems Biology Centre (2007-07) to co-ordinate interdisciplinary research allowing biological systems to be modelled. Her current research focuses on the fate of bacterial pathogens in the environment and understanding the functional properties of soil bacteria.