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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) …

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 …

A tale of rhynes and reens in the South West corner: Part three in a botanical tale of exploring natural variation around us

This post is written by Kellie Smith. See her previous posts about the great duckweed hunt here. The next exciting stop off point on our duckweed tour is the South West. In this case, the South West region refers to the ridge between Wales and England – Bristol, on the English side and Newport, on …

Duckweed hunting in the South West: Part two in a botanical tale of exploring natural variation around us

This post is written by Kellie Smith I introduced the great duckweed hunt in my previous blog starting on the South East coast. The quest takes me this week to the other end of the South, the South west corner, particularly St Austell and the Cornwall region. It turns out Cornwall is quite far! Why …

The great duckweed hunt! Part one in a botanical tale of exploring natural variation around us

This post is written by Kellie Smith. Welcome to our new series, showcasing duckweed! We have written about duckweed before, but these posts showcase PhD candidate Kellie Smith’s fieldwork hunting duckweed around the UK. Kellie is an avid duckweed collector and researcher in Food and Agriculture at the University of Nottingham. She is passionate about …

Adaptation and resilience in the Yucatan: an ode to farmers – by Karla G. Hernandez-Aguilar

Karla G. Hernandez-Aguilar is a PhD student on the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project I described the challenges of conducting fieldwork in the middle of a pandemic in my blog on 16 April 2021 so now I would like to take this opportunity to reflect upon the qualities of adaptation and resilience that I observed on a daily basis …