Rowena Hill

Postdoctoral Research Scientist
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My main research interests are in using bioinformatics to explore the diversity and evolution of ascomycete fungi in the context of food security and ecosystem stability.

As a Postdoctoral Researcher, I'm working across both the Neil Hall and Anthony Hall groups. As part of the BBSRC cross-institute Designing Future Wheat initiative, my role aims to utilise large genomics-based data sets to address fundamental questions in the evolution of plant pathogens to advance crop science. 

Specifically, I'm working with Mark McMullan to study the genomes of the wheat root pathogen take-all (Gaeumannomyces tritici) and a closely related endophyte (G. hyphopodioides) to explore questions around fungal lifestyles, wild vs domestic hosts, and fungal-host interactions, among others.

The project is a collaboration between the Earlham Institute and Rothamsted Research using state-of-the-art approaches for pan- and whole-genome comparisons of fungal genomes along with population genetics techniques to investigate genetic variation across hundreds of re-sequenced genomes.

Prior to joining EI, I completed my PhD at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Queen Mary University of London, in which I focused on fungal lifestyle evolution and to what extent we can use genome data to distinguish harmless endophytes from disease-causing pathogens in the genus Fusarium.