Zigmunds Orlovskis

The wide research links and the international reputation in plant and microbial sciences were essential criteria for choosing to study at the John Innes Centre.”

Project: Investigating bacterial effector proteins that interfere with plant development and defence responses to insects.
Supervisor: Dr Saskia Hogenhout (JIC)

I earned my BSc with First Class Honours in Ecology from Cardiff University, and was awarded the Society of Biology Prize for the Best Student in Biosciences Degree Schemes. I gained valuable experience while doing Summer Research Projects in the Plant and Microbial Sciences Research Group in University of Exeter as well as the Molecular Biology and the Ecology Processes Research Laboratories in Cardiff University. Working alongside senior scientists inspired me to study for a PhD and pursue a career in research.

I developed my interest in the ecological importance of and molecular mechanisms that underpin inter-specific interactions between plants and their pests in natural and agro-ecosystems. This led to my current research on effector biology of Phytoplasmas – bacterial plant pathogens that are transmitted by insects and reduce productivity of a variety of crop plants worldwide.

I believe that holistic approach is key to understanding such complex biological systems, their responses to the anticipated climate change, and developing sustainable pest management practices in the future.