Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Top-notch graduate student from Aarhus University

Julian Rodriguez Algaba from the Department of Agroecology has won an international graduate student research competition.

2014.06.02 | Janne Hansen

Julian Rodriguez Algaba has won an international competition for PhD students. Photo: Janne Hansen

The quality of the studies carried out by research assistant Julian Rodriguez Algaba in the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University is so high that he has been honoured with a graduate student research award at the annual meeting of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) in Mexico.


The prize was given to Julian Rodriguez Algaba because he was able, for the first time, to show the successful establishment of a system for genetic analysis of the wheat rust fungus Puccinia striiformis using the newly discovered alternate host, barberry (Berberis vulgaris). His abstract was presented to a gathering of approximately 700 scientists at the annual meeting and was judged by a panel of scientists from the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative based on the quality of the research as well as the clarity of the presentation. 


Focus on plant pathology

Julian Rodriguez Algaba comes originally from Spain, but has spent the past six years in Denmark where he took his Bachelor and Master of Science in Agriculture degrees in the field of plant pathology at the University of Copenhagen.


For the past two years he has been employed as research assistant at the Global Rust Reference Centre at Aarhus University where he has focused on rust epidemiology in cereal and grasses and on biological and genetic studies of the alternate host, barberry. In August he will launch work on his PhD studies concerning rust epidemiology in cereals and genetic studies of barberry.


- I feel very proud of having been selected as one of the winners by a group of exceptional scientists. It also means that the Global Rust Reference Centre and, in particular, its outstanding scientific staff is doing a great job within the field of cereal rust pathology, says Julian Rodriguez Algaba.


About the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative:

The Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) is an international consortium of over 1,000 scientists from hundreds of institutions working together to:


  • reduce the world’s vulnerability to stem, yellow, and leaf rusts of wheat;
  • facilitate sustainable international partnerships to contain the threat of wheat rusts;
  • enhance world productivity to withstand global threats to wheat security.


Key components of the BGRI include a global wheat community with systems for: cereal rust monitoring and surveillance; gene discovery; improved testing, multiplication and adoption of replacement varieties; training and capacity building; understanding non-host resistance to stem rust; and increasing levels of investments and coordination in wheat rust research and development. Read more about the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative.


For further information please contact: Research assistant Julian Rodriguez Algaba, Department of Agroecology, e-mail: JulianR.Algaba@agrsci.dk, telephone: +45 8715 4773