JHI is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for cereal research, including research into barley and other grains. Cereal Research areas range from field-scale trials of mixtures of different varieties through to gene discovery programmes, gene sequence mapping, QTL analysis and association genetics.
Hazel studied at The University of Edinburgh, gaining a BSc. Biological Science: Genetics hons in 2005; during this time her interest in plant-breeding began, assisting with the harvest and preparation of commercial cereal breeding trials during her university vacations.
After graduating she gained valuable molecular biology experience with a short-term contract at The University of Cambridge investigating homology dependant gene silencing in Arabidopsis.
Subsequent to this and prior to starting her present role at MRS she was employed by NIAB. Working with a range of crops she assisted with testing the resistance of new plant varieties to existing pathogens in National List trials; assessing new pathogen isolates for virulence against plant disease differentials and trialling the efficacy of novel pesticides.
Her present role with MRS is trainee Field Geneticist specialising in cereals, as part of her role she is undertaking a part-time PhD investigating alternative six-rowed loci in barley with the aim of improving yield potential in six-rowed barley cultivars.