b'CONTENT FROM SEED WORLD CANADAHelping Seed Analysts to GrowMoses PalmerNisku, Alta.In the dictionary next to the word multitasking, there should be a photo of Moses Palmer. His days are a whirlwind of lab analyses, customer service, and overseeing the seamless flow of opera-tions at 20/20 Seed Labs in Nisku, Alta., where he works as senior seed analyst and lab manager. But Palmer is more than that; hes becoming a driving force in the seed testing community.Beyond the labs walls, Palmer delivers high-impact training sessions in grading, seed identification and germination to seedSeen here second from left with a group of students, Edel Prez-Lpezs commitment to mentoring the next generation of scientists industry professionals.is evident, as he guides them through their own research The 36-year-olds journey to leadership was paved withendeavours.hands-on experience. Before his tenure at 20/20 Seed Labs, he spearheaded agricultural initiatives in Ghanas rice industry.A Unique Approach to Science and Well-beingLeading a diverse team, heEdel Prez-Lpez empowered local farmers,Quebec City, Que.creating symbiotic relation-ships that bridged small-scaleEdel Prez-Lpezs career journey in plant breeding has taken growers with commercialhim through three different countries, multiple academic producers. pursuits, and is what has cemented his dedication to fostering I actually didnt intenddiversity and inclusion in the field of plant science. to leave Ghana to come toHe came to Canada from his birth country of Cuba in 2015 Canada, Palmer says. Butfor a six-month internship, then finished his PhD in Mexico. After circumstances led me herethat, he moved to the United States for a year and finally settled when my wife started a PhDin Canada in 2018.program at the University ofHis groundbreaking work on clubroot disease has allowed he Alberta, and we were expect- and his team to sequence the genome for Plasmodia brassicae, ing our first child. It was a shiftMoses Palmer is becoming athe clubroot pathogen. Its the first complete genome available that propelled me into a newdriving force in the seedworldwide. His second area of focus involves leafhoppers and chapter in life. testing community. their potential as markers of climate change. Palmers role at 20/20 SeedAs a mentor and advocate for diversity, Prez-Lpez offers Labs reflects not only his expertise but also his commitment tovaluable advice to aspiring plant scientists.bridging the gap between the lab and the field. Palmer is taskedNumber one, you have to be curious all the time. Curiosity with overseeing operations and also nurturing the next genera- is really important, he states. I dont consider myself a brilliant tion of agricultural innovators through teaching and mentorship. person. I just work hard. You have to do the work.Palmers dedication to education is matched only by his pas- Prez-Lpez is also active in his advocacy for the LGBTQ+ sion for fostering a supportive work environment, particularly forcommunity in the research community. As a co-founder of the those balancing family commitments. Palmer notes that employ- online community Pride in Microbiology, he actively promotes ers are now more understanding of the need for employees torepresentation and recognition within academic circles.spend time with their families. 20/20 Seed Labs even set up aOne of the driving factors behind my involvement was my school at its lab during the pandemic to accommodate parents. experience as an undergraduate in Cuba, where I witnessed Understanding the individual needs of team members andfirsthand the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ students in finding navigating personal struggles can be demandingm but its alsosupervisors due to prevailing homophobia, he says.an opportunity for growth and connection. I wanted to demonstrate that its possible to thrive in aca-Looking to the future, Palmer is eager to further immersedemia regardless of sexual orientation and to advocate for himself in industry dynamics and explore opportunities for col- those who might otherwise be discouraged from pursuing their laboration and innovation. dreams.Building capacity within our lab to deliver actionable insightsContrary to the belief that only scientific merit matters, to our customers is crucial. Im excited to engage with stakehold- hes come to understand the significance of representation in ers and chart a course towards sustainable growth. decision-making processes such as hiring committees. People naturally gravitate towards those who resemble or think like them, which inadvertently perpetuates biases, he adds.58/ SEEDWORLD.COMINTERNATIONAL EDITION 2024'