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Karoline Heiwolt – Research visit to UC Davies California

AgriFoRwArdS Cohort 1 student Karoline Heiwolt, recently had the opportunity to travel to UC Davis in California for a research visit along with supervisor Dr Grzegorz Cielniak (AgriFoRwArdS Co-Investigator), and two fellow PhD students. In this blog post, Karoline shares some of the highlights of the trip.

The main purpose of our trip was to meet with researchers in the same field, exchange ideas, and explore potential collaborations, so we spent the majority of the week on campus, visiting research groups in the departments of Computer Science, Agricultural Engineering, Plant Sciences, and the renowned UC Davis Strawberry breeding program.

We also got to visit their robotics labs and see the research platforms, many of which are designed and custom-built in-house, as well as drones equipped with impressive remote sensing arrays. Finally, we all presented and discussed our ongoing work in two seminars.

It was a very engaging week with many fruitful discussions on familiar themes and also new insights into the distinct challenges, which the differences in scale and environment present to researchers in California. I personally gained valuable feedback and some practical advice for my own work from the exchange as well.

(L) Karoline Heiwolt (right) with Katherine James and Nikolaus Wagner (PhD students with the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology, LIAT and the SHAPE project respectively). (R) Dr Grzegorz Cielniak presenting a seminar to the UC Davies team.

One of the highlights of our trip was catching up with Dr Taeyeong Choi, our former colleague from Lincoln, who now works as a Postdoctoral Scholar with Professor Xin Liu at UC Davis. He made us feel especially welcome for the duration of our stay in Davis and Sacramento and helped us navigate the academic landscape in the US.

Beyond the university visit, we also had some time to explore Sacramento and San Francisco. Of course, we visited the California State Capitol and the Golden Gate Bridge, but we also took a little detour through Mountain View to see the Computer History Museum.

(L) Shakey the robot, the famous first general-purpose mobile robot from Stanford, a little taste of the fantastic exhibition at the Computer History Museum. (R) Karoline Heiwolt at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Overall, our visit to California was a valuable and enriching experience, and we left with many new connections that may lead to future collaborations. I am very grateful for the opportunity and want to thank everyone at UC Davis for welcoming us so warmly.

A huge thank you to Karoline for sharing her experience!

Do you want to get involved in the CDT?

If you are interested in learning more about what we do and if you share a passion for agriculture and technology then go to our AgriFoRwArdS CDT website to see more about our research, how you can be involved, and how to apply to be a student in the program.

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