Dr Elizabeth Orton - BSPP Programme Secretary


Elizabeth Orton

I grew up in Reading, but have since moved around the UK and further afield and currently reside in East Anglia.  I studied Biological Science at Oxford University (1998-2001), before completing an MSc with the University of Wales, Bangor in Enviromental Forestry (2002-2003). This led to gainful employment at Forest Research, Alice Holt, fortuitously in Forest Pathology, a career move which has led me to have a passion for plant pathology. Working as a lab assistant at Forest Research taught me the essential skills needed working with fungal (and some bacterial) pathogens, particularly Phytophthora ramorum and P. kernoviae and Dothistroma septosporum.In 2006 I went to work in New Zealand at Ensis (now Scion) as a forest pathology diagnostician. The work involved identifying fungal diseases on from both trees grown in nurseries and on samples from a nationwide monitoring survey. This was a fascinating insight into the world of plant pathology and mycology and gave me a chance to develop research ideas from routine monitoring surveys.

On returning to the UK I embarked on a PhD at the John Innes Centre, studying wheat responses to Mycosphaerella graminicola, the causal agent of septoria tritici blotch (STB). This included investigating the interaction between STB and powdery mildew diseases on wheat.  I have recently completed my thesis and am looking forward to starting my post-doctoral career.

Away from work, my new daughter is keeping my hands tied up, but I enjoy getting outdoors whether it be walking or mountain biking and I find something to keep me busy in the garden most days.