International Award for Alumnus Vinicius Lube: From Oriented Strand Board to Date Palms

Vinnie Lube next to the X-ray micro-computed tomography device used to probe the structure of germinating date palm seedlings

Brazilian alumnus Vinicius (Vinnie) Lube (M.Sc Wood Science 2016) was part of a team that recently won the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation [2020] in the category ‘Distinguished Innovative Studies and Modern Technology’. The team led by Dr Ikram Blilou from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, won the award for their research on ‘Emergent protective organogenesis in date palms: a morpho-devo-dynamic adaptive strategy during early development’ (published in The Plant Cell. 2019 Aug 1;31(8):1751-1766). Date palms are economically and culturally important in the Middle East, North Africa and East Asia. The paper from the team at KAUST elegantly describes how date palms are able to adapt to a hostile desert environment during their early development. Vinnie did part of the X-ray micro-computed tomography and photography on germinating date palm seedlings using skills he learnt during his Masters with Professor Phil Evans on ‘Effects of moisture-induced thickness swelling on the microstructure of oriented strand board’. Congratulations to Vinnie and the team at KAUST (below) for the Award: they received a Dh1 million prize for their work (355 thousand Canadian Dollars equivalent).

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