Tom is currently working as part of Professor Steven Penfield’s group.
In the UK and Europe, winter oilseed rape (WOSR) is an important arable crop which is sown in late summer/early autumn. A prolonged period of chilling is required over the winter months in order to promote WOSR flowering the following spring. However, previous research has shown that insufficient chilling during warm winters leads to large yield reductions in some growing seasons, which are becoming increasingly common as a consequence of anthropogenic climate change.
Tom’s project aims to investigate the genetic mechanisms underpinning this yield instability, as well as develop new varieties of WOSR which can respond to higher chilling temperatures and thus improve WOSR yield resilience as the climate warms.