Patrick Skilleter

Soil management and irrigation interactions affecting root-to-shoot signalling and yield of potato

Patrick Skilleter

I have had a strong passion for plant science for nearly ten years now, starting on the day I read an article about how food shortages were becoming increasingly likely due to rapid population growth and found myself thinking about how that’s an issue I’d like to help solve. I often found myself drawn to genetics, but found the intricacies of cell biology fascinating as well.

Following my interests, I chose to develop a solid understanding of the principles of biology by undertaking a BSc in Biology at Sheffield Hallam University. From there, I went on to specialise with a Masters’ in Crop Improvement at The University of Nottingham, where I undertook research projects involving the monitoring of broad beans sown on different sowing dates to determine the most optimal for early growth, and partook in a large scale investigation into optimising supplemental LED lighting for high yields of herbs, particularly coriander.

I found myself drawn to this particular PhD as it directly falls in line with my overarching goal, and compared to the above ground biology, roots are far less well studied. As such, I feel that in order to close the yield gap, roots are the next target for improvement, and hence this project is of great importance.