Dr Fiona Corke
Prior to joining IBERS I had been at the John Innes Centre, Norwich for 26 years. My PhD thesis was on pea embryo development, but subsequently I have worked in several groups on a wide range of topics related to plant growth and development. I have been involved in the isolation and characterisation of many Arabidopsis mutants, including mutants with altered response to sugars, cell wall defects, and altered organ size. My areas of expertise include cell biology, molecular biology and plant transformation.
I am a STEM ambassador and have continued to undertake diverse outreach activities since joining IBERS, focusing particularly on work with young people. I have been part of a small team involved in preparing an exhibit for the BBSRC Great British Bioscience Festival, 2014, entitled 'Grasses for the future, food, energy and environment'.
I am a fully trained First Aider.My current role is Glasshouse Manager in Plant Phenomics Centre. This includes helping customers plan and schedule their experiments, coordinating plant growing, collection of manually collected data and monitoring glasshouse environment via specialist software,
From July 2013 I have taken over as BBSRC School Regional Champion, with specific outreach emphasis on Young Farmers Clubs and Welsh schools offering BTEC Agriculture courses.
Post-doctoral researcher in John Doonan's group
I am Smarthouse Manager in the National Plant Phenomics Centre.
**My main role involves coordinating the growing of plants for NPPC.
** A wide range of plants are grown in NPPC and the robotic nature of the glasshouse requires a level of experimental design not usually necessary. I advise customers of the facility on the logistics of their plant material both in terms of plant growth and collection of ground truth data. Glasshouse control via Priva control software is also my responsibility. NPPC attracts many visitors from diverse backgrounds and I frequently lead tours for groups.
I have a particular interest in the genetic and cellular basis of variation in seed and grain size.
My initial project at IBERS involved characterising Natural Accessions and Recombination Inbred Line populations of Brachypodium for variation in traits such as overall plant growth, grain size and harvest index. This project is in collaboration with the Sainsbury Lab (Norwich) has allowed traits of interest to be scored against a genetic map for QTL analysis. Brachypodium was used for this study because of its relatedness to other agronomically important cereals, its small genome (now sequenced), compact size and rapid life cycle.
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