Students Gain Work Experience in AFBI's Plant Pathology laboratory

Date published: 24 October 2017

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The Plant pathology team welcomed two new 6 month work experience students recently, Ms Julia Wilson and Ms Catherine McGuckin.

Catherine McGuckin, Julia Wilson and Richard O Hanlon inspect an ash sample for ash dieback

Both Julia and Catherine are currently doing BSc degrees in Queens University Belfast. Julia will work on projects involving describing the Phytophthora community of the Lagan, as well as collecting and studying isolates of Neonectria fuckeliana (an emerging fungal pathogen of Sitka spruce).

Catherine will work to record and classify the fungal communities of seeds submitted to the laboratory, as well as isolate and identify the fungal community of pine needles in Northern Ireland. These projects will allow both students valuable training in mycology and plant pathology – very rare skills on the island of Ireland.

Other students to pass through the laboratory in the past year include Mr Jordan Farndell, a microbiology student also at Queens University Belfast who worked on optimising the baiting techniques in the laboratory and also on synthesising data on virus susceptibility in Northern Irish potato varieties. Secondary school students Daniel White, Shivani Veena Umesh and Ryan Daly also spent brief periods in the laboratory in 2017. 

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