Angela Hay

 Research Group Leader

  1. What fascinates you most about plant science?

Plants are amazing. By using energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide into sugars and oxygen, they sustain all life on earth. Our future on this planet relies on our understanding of how plants function.

  1. Tell us briefly what scientific questions you are pursuing at MPIPZ 

My goal is to discover how genetic variation impacts the way a plant develops, and how this generates biodiversity. I’m fascinated by exploding seed pods – how do these pods launch seeds at speeds greater than 10 m s-1?

  1. What/who has inspired you greatly in your career so far?

My Ph.D. supervisor Sarah Hake is one-of-a-kind. Passionate about maize genetics, outdoor adventure, friends and family. She inspires me to aim high and live fully.

I greatly admire the work of Sean Carroll – both his science and science communication. As an evo-devo pioneer, he inspired me to enter this research field, and his books and films like “The Serengeti Rules” would inspire anyone about science.

  1. What do/did you find most challenging in your career so far?

It is rewarding, but challenging, to combine kids with a high-level science career. Your career often leads you far from home, which leaves you without a support base. This makes the demands of international travel or pandemic isolation that much harder.

  1. What advice would you give to young female scientists?

Find a really interesting question to study. Something that motivates you to go into work each day. Novel enough to make discoveries, and challenging enough to sustain a career in research.

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