Student Biographies

Click on the images below to read the biographies of some of the past and present students studying with the Doctoral Training Partnership.

Erin Baggs

Project: How do plant immune receptors evolve to outrace pathogens?

Supervisor: Dr Ksenia Krasileva

I had never expected to become a PhD student, my first consideration of the possibility was during my undergraduate degree after taking part in a summer placement scheme at Rothamsted Research. Whilst at Rothamsted I was mentored by a PhD student who showed me what an exciting opportunity a PhD could be. Furthermore, I was able to see first-hand the loss of yield to disease, this motivated me to pursue further research into plant immunity to pathogens. My resolve to help with food security was strengthened upon completing my final year lab project on G.boninense, a fungal pathogen of oil palm. In addition to the excitement generated by discovering anything novel or unexpected, the idea that my research can help with such a challenging global problem as food security continues to motivate me.

The BBSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) project at the Earlham Institute on the evolution of resistance genes, particularly those with integrated domains, was the perfect opportunity for me to contribute to this area of research. Through using Resistance Gene Enrichment Sequencing in concert with bio-informatics techniques I hope my research, along with others in the Krasileva group, will allow us to understand more about the structure and evolution of resistance genes. I hope this research will provide a platform for future translational research that will enable plant breeders to improve resistance to pathogens.

I hope my research, along with others in the Krasileva group, will allow us to understand more about the structure and evolution of resistance genes.