I went to King Edwards School Birmingham and took A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and an AS-level in Latin.
I did my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford. I graduated with a 1st in the Summer of 2014. After completing my degree, I embarked straight away on my DPhil at the DTC.
There are two broad areas in which I am particulary interested and I hope to explore both of these during my rotation projects:
Several areas wtihin plant sciences including: the evolution and development of land plants; the interaction between plants and microbes; and in how a greater understanding of plant biology might be used to aid food production.
How models can be used in conjunciton with experiments (particlarly in microbes) to enhance our understanding of evolutionary theory.
I undertook a 10-week undergraduate research project in the Plant Sciences Dept., Oxford. I worked in Professor Liam Dolan's lab. The aim of this project was to investigate nitrate reduction Marchantia polymorpha. As with all liverworts, the rooting system of M. polymorpha consists of rhizoids, whose role in nutrient uptake is uncertain. Using gene expression analysis and microscopy I was able to demonstrate at least a partial role for rhizoids in nitrate reduction.
I also undertook a 10-week research project during a Summer Studenship at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. Here I worked with Professor Phil Poole trying to characterise the secretory response of plant roots to nutrient stress. A preliminary conclusion of this work that I hope to further investigate was that secretion in monocot and eudicot root systems may respond in fundamentally different ways to nutrient stress. The long-term goal of this research is to better understand the interactions between plants - especially legumes - and soil bacteria with the hope of one day being able to engineer a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis between cereals and symbiotic diazotrophs.