With a background in molecular plant pathology, Aoife has broad ranging experience in crop protection research and agronomy of arable and horticultural crops. Her PhD conducted with Teagasc investigated novel sources of genetic resistance to Septoria tritici. She has since held roles in agrochemical regulatory science and most recently as a field vegetable pathologist with ADAS, achieving her BASIS certificate in Commercial Horticulture in 2018. Within the Farming Systems team at NIAB TAG, her research interests are in varietal improvement of combinable crops, biological control of pests and pathogens, fungicide resistance management and integration of crop sensing data.
The crop specialist team, together with the regional teams work to deliver knowledge exchange by presenting at meetings, delivering demonstrations at trial sites and national events. The team looks to develop contract research activities by liaising with industry organisations and commercial companies as well as supporting the delivery of internal and external training on all aspects of crop protection and agronomy.
Brennan, C.J., Zhou, B., Benbow, H.R., Ajaz, S., Karki, S.J., Hehir, J.G., O'Driscoll, A., Feechan, A., Mullins, E. and Doohan, F.M., 2020. Taxonomically restricted wheat genes interact with small secreted fungal proteins and enhance resistance to Septoria tritici blotch disease. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11, p.433.
Hehir, J.G., Connolly, C., O' Driscoll, A., Lynch, J.P., Spink, J., Brown, J.K.M., Doohan, F. and Mullins, E., 2018. Temporal and spatial field evaluations highlight the importance of the presymptomatic phase in supporting strong partial resistance in Triticum aestivum against Zymoseptoria tritici. Plant Pathology, 67(3), pp.573-583.
O’Driscoll, A., Doohan, F. and Mullins, E., 2015. Exploring the utility of Brachypodium distachyon as a model pathosystem for the wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. BMC research notes, 8(1), p.132.
O’Driscoll, A., Kildea, S., Doohan, F., Spink, J. and Mullins, E., 2014. The wheat–Septoria conflict: a new front opening up?. Trends in plant science, 19(9), pp.602-610.