A strong will to continue growing – An Interview with Dr. Ivone de Bem Oliveira

A strong will to continue growing – An Interview with Dr. Ivone de Bem Oliveira

Interview conducted and written by Modesta Abugu

Dr. Ivone de Bem Oliveira is from Santa Catarina in Brazil. She received her PhD in 2018 from the department of Genetics and Plant Breeding at the Federal University of Goias and is currently a Post-doctoral associate at the Blueberry Breeding and Genomics Laboratory at the University of Florida (USA). Her research focuses on the intersection between breeding and genomics, particularly to improve the quality and the time for the release of blueberry varieties.

Ivone is using her training and expertise as a geneticist and plant breeder to develop solutions to optimize the selection process for polyploid species. She primarily works with blueberries, but also has experience in developing quantitative genetics-based prediction models for sugarcane, alfalfa, and soybean. She has made significant contributions to the application of genomic technologies in optimizing plant breeding process. By using bioinformatics and quantitative genetics theories, she has published the first genomic prediction study applied for blueberries, in addition to 17 other publications.

In this interview, Dr. de Bem Oliveira shares her career journey with us, reflects on diversity and the underrepresentation of women of colors in academia, and speaks about the importance of mentorship in plant science as well as the need to use every experience as a learning opportunity especially for women working in a male dominated field.

“My mentor once told me that people will always teach you. They will either teach you how to do things or how not to do them. So, we need to be open to learn from everybody because, with the bad behavior of others, we learn how not to do the same.”

Dr. Ivone de Bem Oliveira