Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Caroline and I am a PhD student at the University of Sheffield. My research project focuses on Striga - a genus of parasitic plants that devastates harvests by infecting food crops. I am exploring the defence reactions that can make host plants more resistant against Striga. Due to my ongoing battles with anorexia, I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked but I am determined to finish the course.

This blog charts the ups and downs of life in the lab, plus my dreams to become a science communicator and forays into public engagement and science policy....all while trying to keep my mental and physical health intact. Along the way, I'll also be sharing new plant science stories, and profiles of some of the researchers who inspire me on this journey. So whether you have a fascination for plants, are curious about what science research involves, or just wonder what exactly I do all day, read on - I hope you find it entertaining!

Friday 2 January 2015

Exciting New Year...

Happy New Year to you! If you haven't made any resolutions, don't worry - I always say that if it it important enough , you will start that very day and not wait until the next new year!

I am quite excited already because the year for me has started with my first harvest of Arabidopsis seed. This is my model organism for my PhD but unfortunately there is a bit of a shortage of seed I be department ( as it is a model organism for LOTs of researchers here!). So as soon as the academic term started in October, I was first tasked with inducing some seedlings to flower , self fertilise and produce more seed. Thanks to controlled environment chambers, I was able to convince my seedlings that they were in fact on spbritish summertime, not in the depths if the wet winter outside, and just today, I had my first 'harvest'. Let's hope there are many more to come!

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