Since joining Fera Science as Senior Plant Bacteriologist at the beginning of November, Dr Joana Vicente has been managing and working towards delivering a range of R&D projects on plant pathogenic bacteria and soil biological diversity. Joana brings over 20 years of experience within Plant Pathology, so we were delighted to welcome her to the team.
Joana’s aim is to continue to be involved in interesting and exciting research on plant pathogenic bacteria; this involves working with pathogens that are currently impacting UK crops and also pathogens like Xylella that might pose a threat for the future. Joana is a UK representative in the management committee of an EU COST Action on diseases caused by Xanthomonas and Xylella and is responsible for Science Communication for this action. Her interest to join Fera included her experience and relationship she had already built with our team during several projects including links with the National Collection of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria (NCPPB), so her interests aligned well for this position.
Joana was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, and came to the UK during her four-year PhD grant to characterise her collection of bacteria using serology at the Horticulture Research International (HRI) in Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. As molecular biology was developing and Wellesbourne had the right facilities and expertise, she transferred the rest of her PhD to the UK where she continued her career.
Joana joined us following her role at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) as a Crop Production Systems Scientist where she managed several projects linked with tree fruit, soft fruit and protected edibles and mushrooms. She previously gained valuable experience at the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, in Wellesbourne as a Research Fellow and at Horticulture Research International as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist working on projects including bacteria and oomycete plant pathogens. Joana continues her work with The University of Warwick as a Visiting Academic. The skill sets and knowledge that Joana has developed over this time means she should have no difficulty in making the transition to working at Fera.