Jed Clark

Jed started in the Bennett Lab as a PhD student in October 2020.

Jed obtained his undergraduate degree in Genetics from Edge Hill University in Lancashire (2015-2018). During this time he took an interest in plant genetics and crop science. His third year research project focussed on the ecological genetics of Rubus fruticosus (bramble) microspecies. During his undergraduate degree Jed spent the summer (3 months) of his second year on an Erasmus studentship at the Cyprus University of Technology in Limassol. Here he worked as part of a research team under the supervision of Professor Loukas Kanetis; investigating crop disease in Cypriot grape vines, specifically, isolating and identifying the fungal species responsible for the disease.

Jed then went on to do his Masters in Biochemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham (2018-2019) where he aimed to gain a greater understanding of the food industry. Here his research side-tracked away from plant science and focussed on the effects of a novel UV-c sterilisation technique on UV-c resistant microbes for application in healthcare technologies. Here he thought of venturing out into the food industry and crop production however upon completion of his Masters Jed realised that what he really enjoyed was carrying out plant research and being in a lab environment.

Jed therefore decided to return to the world of plant, genetics and crop science, joining the Bennett lab as a PhD student in October 2020. His research project focusses on identifying Wheat germplasm that can enhance competitiveness against the agricultural weed Blackgrass. This project is funded by AHDB (Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board) and the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds. This project is in collaboration with environmental consultancy firm RSK ADAS who provide knowledge on blackgrass and aim to run field experiments later in the project. This project should identify new routes to competitiveness in wheat, and allow definition of the genetic basis of this competitiveness. Currently weed suppression is not part of recommended management lists, this project will provide a quicker tool to assess the competitiveness of new wheat varieties, and allow for those beneficial traits to become part of recommended lists.

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