Dr Darren Plett grew up on a family farm in the centre of Canada and learned firsthand about the effects of environmental stresses on the yield of crops. This background led him to study plant physiology and molecular genetics. Darren completed an MSc at the University of Manitoba where he looked at the potential impact of climate change on plant growth and oil quality in canola. He then joined the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) in Adelaide to work on a PhD project focused on developing new biotechnological approaches to improve salinity tolerance in rice. Darren joined the Nitrogen Use Efficiency group at the ACPFG in 2009 and is currently working on developing crop varieties which require less fertiliser inputs yet maintain high yields.