Profile: Ewan R

I'm a Monsanto employee (of 2 years - in research & development, not PR!) and ardent GM supporter (of at least 18 years) - as such all views expressed on the intertubes are entirely my own and do not reflect the views of Monsanto (at least until they start paying me for time spent online)
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Member Since: 2009-11-22 20:40:35

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My position in Monsanto is Research Associate (which translates essentially to bottom of the totem pole, or as near as makes no difference) on the Corn Yield Nitrogen team - our goal is to discover/develop a gene which will increase the nitrogen use efficiency of corn, this parses out into two seperate but equally important sub goals - either to increase the yield of corn under current nitrogen application rates (which equates to somewhere in the 140-180 lbs of applied N per acre) or to maintain yield at decreased nitrogen application rates (currently we're shooting for something in the 30-60lbs of applied N reduction, which is roughly equivalent to the difference between planting after soy and planting after corn)

Bizarrely the reason I got involved in molecular genetics (which is my area of lack of expertise (Bachelors)) is the work Monsanto were doing in the 90's and the subsequent European backlash - I had always hoped to one day work in genetic engineering but my move to the US, and to St Louis in particular was done in complete and utter ignorance of where Monsanto was based - suffice to say I was pleasantly surprised to discover they were just down the road, and once I knew this it was a 3 year struggle of multiple job applications and finally a set of interviews which would drive anyone up the wall (seriously, like 5 interviews spread over a 2 month period - in retrospect I'm just glad I didn't have to do a presentation to a room full of highly specialized scientists - it's bad enough that my team has more combined post-doctoral experience than I'll have years on this planet when I retire)

I'm a British transplant to the US (not yet classified as an invasive species although I have procreated since then so the USDA may well be reviewing this status) - 5 years and counting - one of these years was spent productively playing world of warcraft while waiting for my green card to come through (don't believe the hollywood hype... they categorically do not hand you a GC the day you get married) 2 years pottering about in a tiny little company manufactuing kits for biosciences, and 2 years working for Monsanto.