Biology welcomes new Associate Professor Tutorial Fellows
The Department welcome 3 new people in their capacity as Associate Professor Tutorial Fellows. Read more about them and their work below.
Associate Professor in Molecular Plant Sciences, Tutorial Fellow at Somerville College
Emily joins from the Department of Chemistry where she is currently a Senior Research Fellow. She leads a research group investigating enzymes involved in stress-sensing, with a particular focus on oxygen-sensing enzymes in plants and their role in flood tolerance. Previously, Emily conducted postdoctoral research looking at the kinetic and mechanistic properties of oxygen-sensing enzymes in humans. She gained her BSc in Biochemistry at the University of Southampton and her DPhil in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine in Oxford.
Emily’s research in the Department of Biology will use a molecular approach to understand the structural and functional properties of enzymes involved in plant stress responses. This understanding will enable targeted manipulation of the activity of these enzymes. By correlating biochemical and biological studies, Emily will be able to identify and implement interventions that can improve plant stress tolerance. Ultimately, she hopes this will help reduce crop losses as a result of climate change.
Associate Professor in Infectious Disease & Tutorial Fellow at Brasenose College
Katrina joins the Department from the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford, and will continue her Sir Henry Dale Fellowship with us, which she started in 2015 here in the Department of Zoology. Katrina is also a member of Oxford University’s Big Data Institute, to which she will retain an affiliation after joining us.
Katrina’s interest is in the ecology and evolution of viral infections, such as HIV and SARS-Cov-2, and she is currently the Genetics Lead of ONS Covid Infection Survey. More specifically, she is interested in evolutionary and ecological processes operating at different ecological scales (e.g. within- and between-host), to assess the impact this integration of scales has on our understanding of the evolution and epidemiology of infectious disease.
Associate Professor in Cell and Molecular Plant Biology & Tutorial Fellow at Worcester College
Ronelle is a current member of the Department and will continue her Royal Society University Research Fellowship with us which she started in 2020. The focus of Ronelle’s group is to obtain a mechanistic understanding of the cross-talk that exist between plants and beneficial arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Her research is important for sustainable food security as AM symbiosis enhances crop productivity while minimising the reliance on chemical inputs.
During her post-doctoral research at University of Cambridge, Ronelle discovered membrane bound nanoparticles, called extracellular vesicles, accumulate at intracellular plant and fungal symbiotic interfaces. In animals, extracellular vesicles mediate cell-cell communication, yet in plants, their function remains less well understood. Ronelle’s group uses molecular and cell biology approaches to identify cargoes of extracellular vesicles, to understand their biogenesis and spatio-temporal dynamics and to determine the role of extracellular vesicles in modulating the AM symbiosis.