Jess is a maternity cover research assistant who is responsible for maintaining invertebrate species and plant pathogens within the DEFRA quarantined Entomology and Insectary Facility.
Most of the invertebrate species she is responsible for are major crop pests, such as various aphid and leafhopper species, the diamondback moth, grey field slugs and the cabbage stem flea beetle.
She ensures that insect stock colonies are well-maintained and free from other pests and pathogens, and supports researchers who are using the insectary, allowing the facility to run smoothly. Additionally, Jess conducts experiments for scientists at the NBI site, for example life cycle manipulation and feeding preference assays.
Previously for her PhD, she worked with the cabbage stem flea beetle, a major pest of Brassica crop species, which gave her a particularly in-depth knowledge of this insect.