Happy Year of the, um...

So is it the Year of the Rat? Or the Year of the Oat? How about both?

First, I would like to say Happy Year of the Rat to those of you celebrating Lunar New Year, which is this Saturday, January 25th. Saturday is also Burns Night for those of us with a Scottish background, so be sure to raise a glass to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns and indulge in some haggis or cranachan, both of which are made with oats.

This could also be considered the Year of the Oat because of the upcoming International Oat Conference in Perth, Australia. Registration is now open, and early-bird sales end August 1st. Abstracts are due March 31st! More about the International Oat Conferences in general can be found here.

Please keep an eye on the events calendar for more upcoming meetings and courses. For example, the 5th Genomic Selection in Plant Breeding course has been announced and will be held in June. As for past meetings, abstracts from oat-related work presented at PAG XXVIII have been posted in the “Other Meetings” section, as have updated documents from the Oat Global meeting held last October in Minneapolis. One of those documents describes Oat Global 2020 priorities, and the other summarizes the plans for work that will be done at the USDA-ARS labs in Fargo, ND.

For early-career researchers, two new postdoc positions are available at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. One project concerns “Genetic Variation of the Oat Seed Metabolome” and the other concerns “Machine Learning Genetics of Oat Composition”. There is also a postdoc opportunity in Jaswinder Singh’s lab at McGill University in Montreal, QC, to work on "Gene Editing for Plant Breeding".

I will be sharing news of the many recent personnel changes in our community very soon. In the meantime, 新年快乐! Cheers!