Dr George-Jaeggli specialises in the dissection of complex traits that have a beneficial impact on crop yield. During her PhD at the School of Land and Food at the University of Queensland under Professors Graeme Hammer and David Jordan, she studied the genetic and physiological basis of correlations between plant height and grain yield in sorghum. During her first postdoctoral position under Dr Andrew Borrell she studied the stay-green trait in sorghum. Plants with the stay-green trait yield more during post-anthesis drought. This type of drought is particularly frequent in the regions where sorghum is grown in Australia and around the globe and the trait has the potential to contribute significantly to yield stability and economic returns in these regions. Dr George-Jaeggli’s main focus has been to identify candidate genes conferring the stay-green trait.
As part of the Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, Dr George-Jaeggli will develop high-throughput field phenotyping methods to screen for genetic variation for photosynthetic traits in sorghum rates. This will contribute to the identification of alleles and genetic regions of traits associated with increased photosynthetic rates that translate to greater crop yields.
Dr George-Jaeggli is passionate about stimulating an interest in science careers in primary and secondary school students and is part of a committee that organises an annual nation-wide schools plant science competition. In 2008, she won a Peter Doherty group award for Excellence in Science and Science Education for this work.
Dr George-Jaeggli completed a Master of Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich in 1991 and a
PhD from The University of Queensland in 2009.