SCIENCE

Dr NICHOLA HAWKINS

Molecular Plant Pathologist; Evolutionary Biologist

Biointeractions and Crop Protection

BIOGRAPHY

Nichola is a molecular biologist investigating the evolution of fungicide resistance in plant pathogens. Her research combines evolutionary and functional genetics approaches to investigate both the immediate genetic mechanisms and the underlying evolutionary drivers causing resistance. This research will inform resistance monitoring methods and resistance management guidelines to increase the sustainability of crop disease control. Nichola uses functional genetics tools to investigate the functional constraints and fitness penalties associated with target-site mutations. She is interested in the predictability of evolution in the context of resistance, including the effects of epistatic interactions between multiple mutations, and temporal variation in selection with the use of different fungicides. She has also investigated resistance mechanisms involving changes in gene expression and copy number. She has studied the dynamics of resistance alleles over time, using archived samples from Rothamsted's Long-Term Experiments. Nichola has worked on azole resistance in the barley pathogen Rhynchosporium commune and the oilseed rape pathogen, Pyrenopeziza brassicae. She is currently working on azole and SDHI resistance in the wheat pathogen, Zymoseptoria tritici. She is also investigating the selection of fungicide resistance in non-target species, such as saprophytic fungi.

CONTACT DETAILS

EMAIL:
nichola.hawkins@rothamsted.ac.uk

    TEL:

    +44 (0) 1582 938 106

      ADDRESS:

      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ

        SOCIAL MEDIA

        PROFESSIONAL PLATFORMS

        Science project

        • Understanding the sources and spread of azole resistance in environmental Aspergillus fumigatus populations

        PhD project

        • Investigating the current status and predicting further evolution of azole fungicide resitance in the wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici

        QUALIFICATIONS

        • 2011 - PhD in Biological Sciences, University of Reading, UK
        • 2006 - MSc in Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity, Imperial College London, UK
        • 2005 - BSc (Hons) in Environmental Biology, Imperial College Wye, University of London, UK

        MEASURES OF ESTEEM

        • 2017 - Invited Speaker: 29th Fungal Genetics Conference, Asilomar, California
        • 2016 - Invited Speaker: 13th European Conference on Fungal Genetics, Paris, April 2016