Abi has worked as a strawberry breeder since 2001, and has previous experience breeding ornamental crops. She has recently been the project leader for iUK-funded research (101914) and continues to manage a commercial strawberry breeding programme to produce substrate–optimised cultivars for modern and intensive growing systems. In addition she also assists with the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club programme and disseminates offsite trial results to the group to facilitate decisions on advanced selections. She has previously been involved in several Defra-funded projects:
- Determine the response of strawberry to water-limited conditions in order to identify quantitative trait loci associated with water use efficiency (WU0107)
- The development of germplasm with a reduced thermodormant response to high temperature periods (FO0306 & FO0313)
- The understanding of inheritance of extended dormancy in EMR late season germplasm (HH3201SSF)
iUK 101914 - Developing resource-use efficient strawberries for substrate production; Duration: April 2015-March 2019; Partners: EMS (lead), NIAB EMR, Soloberry, Agrovista, Botanicoir, Sainsburys; Funding: iUK & BBSRC
Johnson, A.W., Davies, M.J., Grant , O.M. and Simpson, D.W., Developing strawberry cultivars with improved water use efficiency, (2014), Acta Horticulturae 1049: 853-858.
Johnson, A. W. and Simpson, D.W., The effect of deficit irrigation on the flowering behaviour of two day neutral and one everbearing strawberry cultivar, (2014), Acta Horticulturae 1049: 435-438.
Grant, O.M., Davies, M.J., Johnson, A. W., Simpson, D.W., Physiological and growth responses to water deficits in cultivated strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) and in one of its progenitors, Fragaria chiloensis, (2012), Environmental and Experimental Botany, 83: 23-32.
Grant, O.M, Davies, M.J, James, C.M, Johnson, A.W, Leinonen, I., Simpson, D.W. , Thermal imaging and carbon isotope composition indicate variation amongst strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) cultivars in stomatal conductance and water use efficiency, (2012), Environmental and Experimental Botany, 76: 7-15.
Grant, O.M, Johnson, A.W, Davies, M.J, James, C.M, Simpson, D.W., Physiological and morphological diversity of cultivated strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) in response to water deficit, (2010), Environmental and Experimental Botany, 68 (3): 264-272.