Science - January 8, 2019

Chinese cover wins Cover Prize

Roelof Kleis

The Chinese Xiaoxue Sun won the tenth Resource Cover Prize by a landslide. Her thesis on Chinese cabbage reaped almost one third of the votes.

© Xiaoxue Sun

The online election started just before the holidays. Sun nearly immediately took the lead and did not relinquish it for the duration of the election. With 984 out of a total of 3396 votes casted, a whopping 29 percent, her triumph was clear. Only Bodille Arensman (‘Intangible’, with 18 percent of the votes) and Dadan Wardhana (‘Strength in numbers’, 16 percent) got anywhere near that.

Xiaoxue is ‘extremely happy’ with the prize. A great contribution was made to it by the Plant Breeding group, amongst others. ‘My supervisor Guusje Bonnema sent an email to the entire group with the request to cast their votes for me. I also contacted all my friends in China who had studied in Wageningen. That resulted in many votes.’

Xiaoxue designed the cover together with her cousin. ‘We tried to keep it simple, while still picturing the full breadth of the research: the development of the head of the Chinese cabbage. I believe it became a beautiful combination of my research and Chinese culture. As for the Chinese characters on the cover: those spell my name in Chinese, with a seal below them.’


I believe it became a beautiful combination of my research and Chinese culture.
Xiaoxue Sun

The thirty-year-old Sun was born in the north-eastern coastal province of Liaoning. After her bachelor at the Academy of Agricultural Sciences of Northwest A&F University, she came to Wageningen in 2011 for the master’s programme Plant Breeding. This resulted in the start of a PhD programme in 2014 under Guusje Bonnema and professor of Plant Breeding Richard Visser. She obtained her PhD in November and currently still works with the chair group.

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