Dr Annabelle Damerum BSc, MRes, PhD
Post Doctoral Researcher in Plant Sciences
Base: University of California, Davis
Dr Annabelle Damerum is Postdoctoral Researcher in Plant Sciences at the University California Davis, with a main research interest in sustainable crop improvement.
October 2017 – present: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Davis.
2013–2017: PhD Improving the nutritional quality and shelf life of baby leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa)
2012–2013: MRes in Molecular Plant Biology and Biotechnology (Distinction). Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College, London, UK.
2009–2012: BSc Applied biology (1st Class Hons). School of Biological Sciences, Newcastle University, UK.
After developing a passion for crop improvement during my undergraduate research project in the laboratory of Professor Angharad Gatehouse at Newcastle University, I moved to Imperial College where I developed my laboratory skills, gaining an MRes in Molecular Plant Biology and Biotechnology.
I then moved to Southampton University, where I undertook an industry-funded PhD, sponsored by Vitacress Salads Ltd., Sainsbury’s supermarket and Shamrock Seeds Company (now Vilmorin). My project was focused on understanding the genetic basis of two complex post-harvest traits; nutritional quality and shelf life. I utilised genome editing technologies for the validation of candidate genes and worked to further develop and apply molecular breeding tools for the improvement of these traits.
Now, as a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, I continue to focus on post-harvest quality and genetic and genomic resource improvement for lettuce and watercress, with a combination of wet lab, bioinformatics and field experiments.
My main research interests are in the field of crop improvement. My undergraduate research project involved working to determine the viability of transgenic maize, which had been genetically engineered to contain enhanced levels of vitamins A, B and C, in the natural environment. During my Master of Research degree I attempted to determine the mode of action of a fungal pathogen which causes devastating economic losses of barley crops.
My PhD and PostDoc involve working to understand the biochemical and biophysical basis of shelf life in lettuce. I hope to provide underpinning tools for molecular breeding, which can be utilised commercially.