Amrutha Vijayakumar

Amrutha Vijayakumar

PhD student

Amrutha Vijayakumar is undertaking her doctoral studies within the School of Environmental and Rural Science at the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale. For her PhD, Amrutha is spearheading a research project titled “Managing CO2 levels in controlled environment cropping systems to optimize yield in tomatoes.” The project involves researchers from UNE, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and ANU, working in collaboration with growers at Costa, a leading agricultural enterprise. The primary objective of the project is to define optimal CO2 levels specifically tailored for tomato production in high-input controlled environments, such as Costa’s cutting-edge tomato glasshouses. Amrutha is also actively involved in quantifying genotypic variation in tomato performance under these optimized CO2 growing conditions.

Before embarking on her doctoral journey, Amrutha earned her Bachelor degree (with First Class Honours) in Agriculture from Kerala Agricultural University. Her academic journey continued at the same university, where she completed her Master’s degree with a specialisation in Plant Physiology. During her MSc, Amrutha researched physiological mechanisms underpinning high temperature tolerance in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Amrutha secured a four-year, full-time PhD scholarship jointly funded by Future Food Systems CRC, Costa Group and UNE. This ambitious, three-stage project is under the leadership of UNE’s Dr Onoriode Coast, co-supervised by NSW DPI’s Dr. Suzy Rogiers, ANU’s Associate Professor Dani Way, UNE & NSW DPI’s Professor Susanne Hermesch.