Improving rice cultivation: An interview with Aishwarya Shankhapal

Aishwarya Shankhapal is a PhD candidate with the Graduate Centre for International Agriculture. Her project is titled ‘Understanding mesocotyl elongation in rice’ and her supervisors are Prof Peter Eastmond (Rothamsted), Dr Smita Kurup (Rothamsted), Prof Malcolm Bennett (UoN) and Dr Leah Band (UoN). Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were you doing …

Improving wheat with wild relatives: An interview with Jack Walker

Jack Walker is a PhD candidate with the UoN-Rothamsted Graduate Centre for International Agriculture. Their project explores the use of wild relatives to improve salt tolerance in wheat Their supervisors are Dr Surbhi Grewal, Professor Julie King and Dr Jonathon Atkinson. Prior to starting a PhD, Jack was a research technician at the University of …

Understanding yield gaps: An interview with Chawezi Miti

Chawezi Miti is a PhD candidate with the UoN-Rothamsted Graduate Centre for International Agriculture. Their project is titled: Boundary line methodology for yield gap analysis of farm systems, and their supervisors are Prof. Murray Lark (University of Nottingham), Dr. Alice Milne (Rothamsted research), and Prof. Ken Giller (Wageningen University). Prior to starting a PhD, Chawezi …

Understanding plant-microbiota interactions: An interview with Katerina Velchova.

Katerina Velchova is a PhD candidate in the Graduate Centre for International Agriculture. Their research project is titled: Microbiome-root-shoot axis: A microbial approach for heavy metalloids toxicity in plant systems, and they are supervised by Dr Gabriel Castrillo. Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were you doing before? Previously I completed an …

Reducing disease in oilseed rape: An interview with Lisa Humbert

Lisa Humbert is a PhD candidate with the Graduate Centre for International Agriculture, a joint partnership between the University of Nottingham’s Future Food Beacon and Rothamsted Research. Lisa’s project is titled “Fungal sex factors as novel antifungal compounds for control of plant disease.” They are supervised by Dr David Withall (RRes), Prof Paul Dyer (UoN) …

Improving animal feeds for the future: An interview with Noriane Cochetel

Noriane Cochetel is a PhD candidate with the Future Proteins Platform. Her supervisors are Ying Zhang, Tim Parr, John Brameld and Andrew Salter. Prior to beginning a PhD Noriane was completing her six-months placement in a research institute, Nofima, in Ås, Norway, as part of the programme from her MSc in Nutrition and Food Science. …

Understanding the keys of adaptation in plants: An interview with Dr Raziyeh Abdilzadeh

Raziyeh Abdilzadeh is a postdoctoral fellow working with Prof Levi Yant on Preadapt: revealing the basis of whole genome duplication-mediated adaption, a Leverhulme funded project. Razi joins the Future Food Beacon from the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad where she completed her PhD in 2020. Tell us about your role I am a postdoc research fellow …

Unlocking the science behind traditional farmer practices: An interview with Muneta Grace Kangara

Muneta Grace Kangara is a Research Fellow on the Translating GeoNutrition: Supporting policies to reduce mineral micronutrient deficiencies in Zimbabwe project. She was recently awarded a Rank Prize Visionary Award for Early Career Researchers in Nutrition (2021). We spoke to Muneta about her work, how she became a researcher, and why she is passionate about …

The clever roots of bambara groundnut: an interview with Kumbirai Ivyne Mateva

We interviewed Kumbirai Ivyne Mateva, a final year PhD student in the School of Biosciences and the Future Food Beacon based at the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNMC), about his research. Kumbirai’s current research focuses on improving productivity, quality and value of food crops, especially underutilised  species. His PhD is titled: ‘Root trait variation and its …

When does rice not like water? – An interview with Gavers Oppong

Gavers Oppong is a second-year PhD student on the UoN-Rothamsted Graduate Centre for International Agriculture scheme. His project is titled ‘Understanding the mechanism for hypoxia tolerance in rice’. He is supervised by Prof. Frederica Theodoulou and Dr Smita Kurup (RRes) and Dr Darren Wells and Dr Jonathan Atkinson (UoN)   Why did you decide to …