Dr Sandra Kerbler is a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam-Golm, Germany. Originally from Perth Australia, Sandra did a Bachelor of Science with Honours at the University of Western Australia majoring in Botany and Genetics. In 2018, she completed her PhD at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, in which she studied the impact of chilling stress on plant mitochondrial function and in the same year moved to Germany, where she is now a postdoc at the Max Planck. Sandra’s current research focuses on understanding how trehalose 6-phosphate (a sugar similar to human insulin) influences plant growth and development and hopes such knowledge will lead to the development of enhanced crop species in a changing world.
Sandra is also a strong advocate for gender equity in higher education systems. She is part of the Equality and Diversity Working Group of the MPG PostdocNet and in 2016 took part in the inaugural Homeward Bound voyage to Antarctica. Homeward Bound is a global leadership initiative, set against the backdrop of Antarctica, which aims to heighten the influence and impact of women in STEMM in making decisions that shape our planet. In the very first expedition, 76 women from across the globe spent 20 days aboard in ship in Antarctica. Now, more than 400 women have taken part in this leadership initiative, with the aim of 1000 women to have the same experience over the next ten years.