Agricultural Crop Research

Dr Camila Zanella

Camila joined NIAB in 2016, working as a post-doc researcher across a range of ongoing research projects in the Cambridge Crop Research department. Her research focuses on the application of classical genetics studies, plant molecular genetics and genomics, including genetic mapping and genome wide association screens, to investigate the genetic control of disease resistance to stripe (yellow), leaf (brown) and stem (black) rust, yield, yield components, and quality traits in cereal crops, with particular focus on wheat and multi-founder advanced generation inter-cross (MAGIC) populations.

Dr Nichola Hawkins

Nichola’s research focuses on the evolutionary biology of plant pathogens, and how we can develop more durable crop disease control strategies against ever-evolving pathogen populations. This includes factors driving the evolution of fungicide resistance, and how these will apply to future crop protection measures, in pathogens including Zymoseptoria tritici which causes the major wheat disease Septoria leaf blotch.

Dr Kostya Kanyuka

Dr Kanyuka leads NIAB’s strategic and applied research on the biology, detection, surveillance, epidemiology and management of diseases and pests of field crops, working with a wide range of academic and commercial partners and customers.

Dr Tally Wright

Tally is leading a group in quantitative genetics within the pre-breeding department at NIAB. The group explores statistical genetics, experimental design, and diverse methods of data analysis. Tally works across a range of ongoing research projects in Cambridge Crop Research division and is involved in the analysis and design of a number of diverse and important NIAB wheat collections.

Professor Ji Zhou

Prof Ji Zhou (周济) is Head of the Data Sciences Department at NIAB. He is an expert in multi-scale plant and crop phenotyping, computer vision (CV) based trait analysis, IoT sensing, and artificial intelligence (AI) modelling. By combining phenotyping, genotyping and environmental data, Ji and his group are developing open-source hardware and software to address yield, quality, and disease related challenges for UK’s key agricultural and horticultural crops such as wheat, Brassica, strawberry, and orchard fruits.

Vanessa McMillan

Vanessa joined NIAB in May 2019 as the Technical Manager responsible for DUS (Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability) Testing of Cereals (barley, oats and wheat) on behalf of APHA for National Listing (NL) and Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR).

Vanessa has a background in plant pathology and, prior to joining NIAB, her main research focus was the development of genetic strategies for the control of foliar and root diseases in wheat.

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