Molecular Plant Pathologist

Protecting Crops and the Environment


Kim has more than 30 years’ experience in molecular plant pathology and molecular genetics, investigating fungal and viral pathogens of wheat, barley, tomato, potato, oilseed rape and arabidopsis. Since 1998, Kim’s research team has been engaged in the global analysis of newly sequenced genomes of plant infecting fungi. Through this growing interest in large data sets, Kim’s team, in collaboration with computational biologists at Rothamsted Research and the ENSEMBL team (EBI, Cambridge), have established the Pathogen-Host Interactions database (PHI-base) and the interconnected PhytoPath database; their aim is to speed up and refine the exploration of the pathogenic process and host defence. The wheat pathogenomics research is focused on understanding how plant disease resistance mechanisms operate, how fungal pathogens cause disease on wheat crops and on developing novel approaches to evaluate gene function in wheat and fungal pathogens. Specific projects are exploring Host Induced Gene Silencing (HIGS) to control Fusarium infections. Kim’s team has further developed two virus vector systems for the transient over-expression of heterologous proteins in cereal plants to rapidly explore protein function. Take-all root disease research, ongoing at Rothamsted Research since the mid-1920s, is also part of Kim’s research portfolio, which aims to improve global food security.


+44 (0) 1582 938 240


    Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ


      Strategic programme

      • Designing Future Wheat (DFW)

      Science project

      • Phytopath an infrastructure for hundreds of plant pathogen genomes
      • Bilateral BBSRC-Embrapa: Using disease risk forecasting, NGS and HIGS to explore and control Fusarium Head Blight disease in wheat field
      • Wheat Genetic Improvement Network (WGIN)

      PhD project

      • An exploration of the function of specific components of the predicted secretome of Fusarium graminearum during wheat infection
      • Exploring how the cereal infecting fungus Fusarium graminearum deploys small secreted effector proteins to suppress plant defences
      • Exploring how fungal pathogens communicate with plant cells and cause disease
      • Characterisation of the role of effectors in the Fusarium graminearum-wheat floral interaction


      • 1981 - Bachelor (Hons) of Agricultural Botany, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales
      • 1985 - PhD in Plant Pathology, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England


      • April 2016 - present - Expert adviser to the new Innovation UK funded Centre of Excellence for Applied Crop Science
      • January 2016 - present - Associate Editor Plant Physiology
      • May 2014 - present - Core Member of BBSRC Response Mode Evaluation Panel B
      • February 2014 - present - Chair of Rothamsted's Scientific Meeting Committee
      • January 2014 - present - Monitoring Editor Plant Physiology