Hot Potatoes Video: Narrators
English Narrator: Agnes Murphy, M.Sc., P.Ag., Research Scientist
Agnes Murphy has always loved potatoes - as a child growing up in Newfoundland helping to plant them in a garden, and now as a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), specializing in the fields of plant pathology and potato breeding and selection.
Agnes works at Canada's primary centre for potato science - the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She's worked there
"for many years" but prior to joining AAFC, she studied at Memorial University in Newfoundland and later received her Masters of Science degree from the University of Guelph. Agnes still fondly describes her job as
"a good conversation starter - most people have something to say about potatoes and it's a good way to talk to consumers and producers about what they are looking for; their likes and dislikes". She explains how the application of her research benefits farmers, the economy and of course consumers, by working to provide Canadians with new varieties of this delicious and nutritious food. Most recently that has included breeding and selecting new varieties with improved levels of antioxidant activity, as well as varieties that can better withstand the multiple pressures of pests and diseases.
Agnes Murphy describes her research as a team effort and says working with field, laboratory and administrative staff to identify promising new selections for release has resulted in some of her proudest moments as an AAFC employee.
"No crop year is ever the same but together we can tackle some of challenges facing the industry", she says.
"The potato research community around the world is quite a friendly one and I've had a wonderful experience being a part of it."
To view Agnes Murphy at work, watch this video: Hot Potatoes.
Details on the research activities of Agnes Murphy are available on her AAFC science profile page.
French Narrator: Benoit Bizimungu, Ph.D., Research Scientist
Dr. Benoit Bizimungu has always had a passion for agriculture. Since he joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) as a research biologist in the late 1990s, the pursuit of that passion has taken him, quite literally, across the country.
Following graduation from Université Laval in Québec, Dr. Bizimungu headed west, working at three AAFC research facilities in Manitoba and Alberta. During his time at the Lethbridge Research Centre Benoit led the Western Canadian Potato Breeding Program, beginning his work with humble potato. His keen interest in potato breeding is what later led him in 2009 to Canada's east coast and Canada's federal centre for potato science - the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick. At Fredericton, Dr. Bizimungu develops new varieties for the potato industry that are safe and nutritious, have improved resistance to pests and diseases and are a source of new potato-based bioproducts.
Dr. Benoit Bizimungu explains that Fredericton's
"dynamic research team has an opportunity to provide solutions to some of the problems facing Canadian agriculture". And although he says his
"dream job" can come with its challenges, they are challenges he embraces. Instead, Benoit and his colleagues see them as motivation for finding innovative solutions - advice he likes to pass along. He enjoys talking with students especially about his research and says
"it's fun to see a student's excitement when we explain what we do".
To view Dr. Benoit Bizimungu at work, watch this video: Les pommes de terre sont à l'honneur (in French only).
Details on the research activities of Dr. Benoit Bizimungu are available on his AAFC science profile page.