Bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food

Delivering more productive, healthy, resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems

*CASE: These are CASE DTP studentships. As part of the programme, you will be required to undertake a placement with the CASE partner for a minimum of 3 months.

*AP: These are Standard DTP studentships with an associate partner where you will be required to spend time with each of the partners. You will be asked to apply to one of the partners (as listed in the ‘Host Institution’ column), but this is just for administration purposes. You will then be registered for your postgraduate studies at one of the partner universities of the lead supervisors.  Your registered university will be confirmed by the DTP following the interview stage of the selection process.

*JD: This project in collaboration with the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England (UWE) is subject to a joint degree award. Successful applicants will be registered at both these institutions, and graduates will be awarded a joint degree from these two institutions upon successful completion of the PhD programme.


Automated prediction of health and welfare in captive fish using behaviour from video *AP Dr Christos Ioannou / Prof Carlos Garcia de Leaniz University of Bristol (apply through here) / Swansea University Stress, Welfare, Aquaculture, Computer vision, Machine learning
Control of ovule number in Brassica species Dr Smita Kurup Rothamsted Research (Harpenden) – apply through University of Bath Seed yield, development, ovules, Brassicaceae, transcriptome
Developing “discovery toolkits” for thiamine diphosphate-dependent enzymes as herbicide targets *CASE Prof Nicholas Harmer University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Drug discovery, Structural biology, Biochemistry, Enzymes
Dissecting the molecular basis of virulence in Gaeumanommyces tritici, the causal agent of take-all disease of wheat Dr Javier Palma Guerrero Rothamsted Research (Harpenden) – apply through University of Exeter Take-all disease, Wheat, Crop Protection, Molecular Plant-Pathogen Interactions, Functional Genomics
Effects of perturbing polyamine metabolism on development and stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana Prof Hilary Rogers Cardiff University Polyamines, plant hormones, plant development, stress responses, Arabidopsis thaliana
Environmental and animal welfare impacts of different dairy production systems: a holistic approach *CASE Dr Daniel Enriquez-Hidalgo University of Bristol Dairy production systems, greenhouse emissions, animal welfare, machine learning, consumers’ perception
Expression of recombinant antibodies in microalgae: from proof of concept to potential treatment for the aquaculture sector Dr Adam Monier University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Synthetic biology, Microalgae, Antibody, Aquaculture
Healthy udders, happy cows: developing a novel approach to prevent bovine mastitis using cold atmospheric plasma *AP *JD Prof John Tarlton / Dr Alexandros Stratakos University of Bristol (apply through here) / University of the West of England Bovine mastitis, cold plasma, bacterial decontamination, animal welfare
How can we engineer more robust plants? Smart genetic screens and advanced imaging strategies to understand the cellular basis of plant growth under normal and stress conditions Dr Angharad Jones Cardiff University Climate change, abiotic stress, sustainability, genetic screening, cell biology
Identification of plant protein interactors for fungal pathogen effectors by proximity labelling Prof Kim Hammond-Kosack Rothamsted Research (Harpenden) – apply through University of Bath Proximity labelling, interspecies protein-protein interactions, Nicotiana and wheat, network analysis, mass spectrometry
Interaction of insecticidal toxin proteins with target membranes Prof Colin Berry Cardiff University Insecticidal protein, Lipid membranes, Electrophysiology, Biochemistry, Optical microscopy
Novel epigenetic markers of embryo quality to improve fish domestication Dr Tetsuhiro Kudoh University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Sustainable aquaculture, zebrafish, tilapia, epigenetics, food security
Optimising water chemistry for rainbow trout in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) *CASE Prof Rod Wilson University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Physiology Chemistry Environmental Sensors Fish Health Aquaculture
Plastics in the Environment: Enhancing carbon sequestration and crop production Dr Martin Blackwell Rothamsted Research (North Wyke) – apply through University of Bristol Plastic, soil quality, carbon sequestration, environmental sustainability, crop production
Quantifying the evolution of multi-fungicide resistance and its effects on pathogen fitness and virulence *CASE Prof Ivana Gudelj University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Resistance evolution, disease virulence, fitness cost, plant pathogens, sustainable agriculture
Reducing food waste through photomanipulation of leaf senescence Prof Keara Franklin University of Bristol Leaf senescence, UV-B, photobiology, plant pathology
Re-engineering amino acid metabolism in wheat grain using CRISPR/Cas9 Prof Nigel Halford Rothamsted Research (Harpenden) – apply through University of Bristol CRISPR, Crop science, Genome editing, Metabolic engineering, Nutritional improvement
Roles of proteins in root exudates in root-soil interactions in monocots (wheat) and dicots (Arabidopsis) *CASE Dr Richard Whalley Rothamsted Research (Harpenden) – apply through University of Bristol Root exudates, Arabidopsis, Wheat, Root hairs, Gene conservation
Saving Cassava : A novel gene in a deadly virus Prof Gary Foster University of Bristol Plant virology, molecular plant pathology, plant-microbe interactions, epidemiology, protein biofunction
Semiochemical-based alternative concepts for the management of wireworms *CASE Dr Jozsef Vuts Rothamsted Research (Harpenden) – apply through the University of the West of England Chemical ecology, integrated pest management, insect behaviour, semiochemicals, soil chemistry
Sustainable wine production through biological control of diseases *CASE Prof Daniel Bebber University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Biocontrol, botrytis, plant pathogen, crop disease, climate change
The epigenetic fate of introgressed DNA in the wheat genome Dr Hans-Wilhelm Nuetzmann University of Bath Introgression, Wheat, Epigenetics, Bioinformatics, Plant biology
Transcriptional landscaping in plant stem cells: from chromatin to gene regulatory networks Dr Simon Scofield Cardiff University Stem cell, transcription factor, gene regulatory network, gene expression, chromatin landscape
Understanding insecticide detoxification in key hoverfly pollinator guilds *CASE Dr Karl Wotton University of Exeter (Penryn) Pollinators, insecticides, agriculture, genomics
Vision-based artificial intelligence and social network analysis for early prediction of disease from cattle behaviours and interactions *AP *JD Prof Andrew Dowsey / Dr Mark Hansen University of Bristol (apply through here) / University of the West of England Food security; Welfare, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Social Network Analysis