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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge
 

Biography

Franziska Fischer is an agricultural scientist investigating disease resistance in wheat. She has previously worked as a Programme Manager and Senior Teaching Associate at the University of Cambridge, and has gained experience in agribusiness and international organisations. She serves as a member of the Royal Society of Biology’s Education, Training and Policy Committee and as a STEM Ambassador for science education in schools. Franziska holds an M.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences majoring in Agro-Economics from the Technical University of Munich in Germany and an MSc in Crop Improvement from the University of Nottingham where she studied in both the UK and Malaysia.

Research

I investigate resistance towards Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) in wheat. FHB is caused by a group of fungi in the genus Fusarium and occurs in every wheat growing region worldwide. The disease is feared among farmers, because it not only reduces harvests, but also contaminates the remaining grain with mycotoxins that are toxic to humans and animals. Agronomic measures for controlling the disease are incomplete and to date there is no completely resistant wheat variety.

In the UK, models predict an increase in FHB, due to climate change and changes in agronomic practices. Simultaneously, data indicates that resistance in UK wheat has been decreasing. My project uses a new type of wheat population and field trials in different environments across Europe to help us better understand resistance mechanisms in general and specifically, potential sources of resistance in UK wheat varieties.

Researcher in Wheat Genetics.
Ms Franziska  Fischer

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