NIAB EMR

Dr Michelle Fountain

Research interests

Michelle specialises in the minimisation of pesticide use in fruit horticulture, improving pollination in fruit crops and incorporating modern fruit growing practices with Integrated Pest Management. The former includes research on improving pest monitoring by developing semiochemical manipulation of insects, optimising the use of biological control agents and enhancing and fostering local landscape ecology to provide the ecosystem service of pest control.

Ms Magdalena Cobo Medina

Research interests

Magdalena is a PhD student working on apple rootstocks, an essential component of successful tree fruit production. The main aim of her project is to understand the effect of dwarfing on root system architecture in apple allowing assessment of dwarfing-associated root development on nitrogen uptake.

Research projects

Combining root architecture, root function and soil management to improve production efficiency and quality of apples; Duration: Oct 2017-Sept 2021; Partners: CTP and University of Nottingham; Funding: CTP

Ms Fiona Wilson

Research interests

My current area of research is focused on understanding controls of secondary metabolism in Fusarium venenatum with the aim of disabling production of deleterious secondary metabolites and generating improved strains for production of nutritionally enhanced mycoprotein.

My background is in plant molecular biology, genetic transformation and the use of in vitro methods enabling improvement in clonal crops, including strawberry, top fruit, and fungi.

Mr Federico Marangelli

Research interests

Since August 2019, Federico works as Research Technician for the ENSA project.

Research projects

BioLaser: establishing a high-resolution laser ablation tomography platform for UK bioimaging research; Duration: Nov 2017-April 2019; Partners: NIAB (lead), University of Cambridge; Funding: BBSRC (BB/P027458/1)

Dr Suzanne Litthauer

Research interests

Suzanne joined NIAB EMR in 2018 as Assistant Molecular Breeder in the Genetics, Genomics and Breeding department.  Her work focuses on marker-assisted breeding of apple and pear rootstocks, conventional breeding of Rubus, and pest and disease resistance screening in apple and Rubus. Suzanne also manages the DNA Fingerprinting Service.

Research projects

Rootstock Breeding Programme; Duration: April 2015-March 2020; Partners: East Malling Rootstock Breeding Club; Funding: Commercially funded

Ms Amanda Karlstrom

Research interests

Amanda is a plant breeder, primarily involved in the apple scion breeding through the Apple Breeding Consortium (ABC) at NIAB EMR. She also has involvement in the apple and pear rootstock breeding, predominantly in the trialling of selections and the development of new breeding methods. Amanda’s research interests include quantitative and molecular genetics and she is currently carrying out a part-time PhD studentship focussed on the genetic control of resistance to the pathogen European apple canker, Neonectria ditissima.

Mr Matteo Luberti

Research interests

I obtained a BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics as well as a MSc in Plant Genetics and Breeding from the University of East Anglia. My PhD is focussed on elucidating resistance mechanisms to Phytophthora cactorum in apple and strawberry.

Research projects

Investigating durable resistance to Phytophthora cactorum in strawberry and apple; Duration: October 2018–October 2022; Partners: NIAB EMR – University of Reading; Funding: CTP

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