Crop protection scientist
Katja joined AHDB in March 2018 having trained as a plant pathologist. Following the completion of her PhD in Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology at Technical University Graz, Austria in partnership with the Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture in Germany where her thesis looked at ”New strategies to control Verticillium wilt in hops”, Katja worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) in the USA from 2015 -2017. She focused on boxwood blight and the evaluation of the applicability of hop cultivation in Connecticut.
As the SF Panel manager, Katja organises Panel meetings and puts papers for these meetings together, talks to Panel members about their priorities and updates them on AHDB research. As a project manager, she also sets up new projects, manages projects and clears reports which are available on our AHDB website. She also organises the Blackcurrant Grower’s Association R&D Committee meetings, prepares papers and set up new projects for them. Katja represents AHDB in the East Malling strawberry breeding club and raspberry breeding consortium. She loves testing the new varieties and says the best part of the job is eating all these delicious berries! Before Covid-19, Katja would travel around the UK to see trials and meet contractors, growers and propagators as well as attending fruit walks and fruit events. Something she really enjoys.
Katja feels that Panel managers are the link between the growers, contractors (scientists) and AHDB. She most enjoys seeing how AHDB’s work is implemented by the industry which on the other side provides direction on priorities, feedback and technical advice which is built into our work. It is a team effort where everyone plays a crucial part.
If you would like to find out more about Katja’s work, the following resources may be of interest:
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