East Malling

Gabrielle Roxby

As an assistant plant breeder, I am involved in all practical aspects of the strawberry breeding programmes in the Genetics, Genomics and Breeding department. I provide scientific and organisational support for the crop genetic improvement projects at NIAB East Malling. I currently assist with the operation of on-site trials including plant propagation and micropropagation using meristem excision. I also provide technical assistance with plant patent applications.

Rebecca Griffiths

I work in the Genetics, Genomics and Breeding department as a Plant Technician. The main purpose of my role is to provide support to the strawberry and raspberry breeding programmes by carrying out general plant husbandry duties, fruit assessments and technical assistance with plant patent applications. Additionally, I assist with maintaining the germplasm collection, performing seed extractions and micropropagating plants via meristem excision.

Simon Thundow

Simon provides field and laboratory-based technical support for the apple and cherry breeding programmes at East Malling. He is also involved with cherry epiphyte and apple canker research projects.

Dr Greg Deakin

Research interests

My current research focuses on the analysis of metagenomics data to try and understand some of the complex microbial interaction in and between organisms in soil/rhizosphere/rhizoplane and plant endophytes. I am also the principal statistician for NIAB East Malling and increasingly for the wider NIAB group.

Dr Matevz Papp-Rupar

Research interests

Dr Matevz Papp-Rupar, Molecular Plant Pathology PhD, Biotechnology MSc, is a research leader in the Pest and Pathogen Ecology Department in East Malling with over 10 years' experience in plant pathology. His early research at National Institute for Biology, Slovenia included detection and characterisation of Potato virus Y and grapevine yellows phytoplasma (Ca. Phytoplasma vitis) in pathogen hosts, wild plant species and insect vectors.

Adrian Harris

In my current role as NIAB EMR’s Horticultural Trials Co-ordinator, I work with the crop protection sector to deliver high-quality scientific trials aimed at underpinning the demands of horticulture. Our unique facilities, trial plots and world-leading scientists (across many disciplines) enable us to put together the right project – and that’s part of the fun when working on projects which bridge academia and research.

Tina Baker

Tina is the first point of contact for all HR enquiries at NIAB East Malling, providing a full HR administration service to all internal and external customers.

Dr Flora O'Brien

Research interests

Flora’s research focuses on aspects of root and soil biology in horticultural crop production. Her particular areas of interest include soil health and carbon sequestration, and root-rhizosphere interactions.

Current research projects

PhD project: Below ground carbon sequestration potential of apple trees
Duration: October 2019 – October 2023
Partners: University of Reading
Funders/funding: BBSRC, Fruit Crop Research CTP


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