Jade O’Leary

IMG_0412 (2)I’m a PhD student funded by NERC as part of the GW4+ doctoral training program. Under the supervision of Professor Lynne Boddy, Dr Dan Eastwood and Dr Carsten Müller I am researching the interactions of fungal mycelia within a multi-dimensional wood block system. The project uses a novel ‘Rubix cube’ experimental system, in which cubes of wood pre-colonised by individual wood decay fungi are arranged in various combinations within a 3D tessellated lattice. This allows analysis of the effects of different species combinations on, for example, wood decay rate, CO2 evolution and volatile organic compound production as well as building on previous gene expression studies conducted in 2D models to assess the activity of key genes in a more complex and dynamic 3D model system.

I completed my undergraduate degree at Swansea University where I conducted a comparative molecular and genomic analysis of the cytochrome P450 genes potentially involved in lignocellulose decomposition by Serpula lacrymans for my final year project. I was supervised Dr Dan Eastwood, although the majority of the work was undertaken with Professor Steve Kelly and Professor Diane Kelly’s laboratory team after being invited to continue working with them having completed a summer internship working on the BEACON project.