Knowledge for a sustainable world

Structural and biochemical factors affecting apple response to long-term low oxygen storage.

Ros’ project looks at the way Gala and Braeburn apples behave in long-term postharvest controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, aiming to explore and understand the physiological factors which influence apple response to long-term low oxygen storage, using two varieties with different storage behaviour.  Gala is tolerant of very low oxygen concentrations and moderate carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations during storage without showing signs of stress, while Braeburn requires higher oxygen concentrations and is very sensitive to CO2.

The fundamental aim of this work is to aid in developing storage regimes which minimise the occurrence of abiotic stress-related disorders, thus improving sustainability. 

Primary Supervisor: Debbie Rees
Secondary Supervisor(s): Christopher Atkinson, Richard Colgan

Ros is a full-time home student in her fourth year as a postgraduate researcher, after gaining BSc Hons degrees in Chemistry (Imperial College, London) and Commercial Horticulture (University of Greenwich/Hadlow College).  Ros is interested in all aspects of fresh produce postharvest research, ranging from biochemical analysis (particularly mass spectrometry-based metabolomics) to technologies for in situ monitoring of produce physiology in storage (including dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) storage techniques such as chlorophyll fluorescence and respiratory quotient).  Prior to her PhD studies, Ros had a career as a patent and academic literature information scientist, specialising in agrochemicals.

  • 2019 Best Late-stage Researcher Presentation, NRI Postgraduate Symposium
  • 2014 and 2016 Winner of Worshipful Society of Fruiterers Student Prize for Excellence in Coursework
  • Member of Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC)
  • Member of Royal Society of Biology (MRSB)
  • Associate Member of Chartered Institute of Horticulture (AMCIHort)
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