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New tools for predicting spread of Fusarium wilt in banana

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 22, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Banana and plantain rank among the world’s most valuable primary agricultural commodities. Unfortunately, banana is challenged by several important pests and diseases, the most notorious of which is the fungal pathogen Foc Tropical Race 4 (TR4), which causes Fusarium wilt. Although this pathogen has yet to establish itself in the banana producing regions of Latin America, its global spread poses a very real risk to producers. The motivation of this collaborative project between the Universities of Warwick and Exeter is to improve our understanding of some important biological parameters of the pathogen such as its patterns of genetic diversity to improve models of spread and to inform development of remote detection (via drones) and molecular detection. This multidisciplinary project benefits from multi-disciplinary expertise of the supervisory team including: remote sensing image analysis, ecosystem-scale modelling, plant pathology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, programming and data science, statistical and mathematical modelling and microscopy.

What is the CTP?
This funded project forms part of the Waitrose Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) between the Waitrose Partnership, their international food production and supply companies, Lancaster University, the University of Reading, University of Warwick and Rothamsted Research. The CTP will deliver studentships on the themes of sustainable crop production, sustainable soil and water and biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture.

Funding Notes

Who should Apply?
Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Biosciences, Environmental Science, Geography or Natural Sciences.

Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£14,777 2018/2019 tax-free) for 4 years for UK/EU students subject to eligibility criteria. Unfortunately, studentships are not available to non-UK/EU applicants.


For questions about this project, please contact Prof. Murray Grant: [email protected] or Dr. David Studholme: [email protected] Visit the Waitrose CTP Website

Follow the instructions on How to apply of the Waitrose CTP website

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