Sophie Harrington

Postgraduate Researcher Designing Future Wheat

Sophie currently works in the Cristobal Uauy lab, studying the process of senescence in wheat.

The timing of senescence, the process by which plants die, is critical in determining grain nutrient content. It also plays a large role in influencing climate resilience, particular in regards to late-season drought and heat stress.

Sophie is particularly interested in identifying genes that regulate the onset and development of senescence in wheat. She is taking advantage of genetic resources developed in the Uauy lab and elsewhere to investigate how different transcription factors interact to influence senescence in response to age and stress cues.

After studying for her BA at the University of Cambridge, focusing on Plant and Microbial Sciences, Sophie started a PhD at the John Innes Centre. As part of the Rotation PhD programme, she also spent 10 weeks in the labs of Christine Faulkner, studying calcium responses at plasmodesmata, and Diane Saunders, studying the population structures of wheat stem rust, before joining to the Uauy lab.

During her PhD, Sophie took part in the BiotechYES competition, reaching the final and winning the “Best Presenter” award.