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Dr. Andrea Harper

Principle Investigator

Andrea holds a BSc in Genetics and an MSc in Biomedical and Forensic Egyptology from the University of Manchester. Her PhD, completed at the University of Birmingham, was concerned with tracing the evolutionary histories of several species of campions (Silene spp). During subsequent postdoctoral positions in the Bancroft Labs at the John Innes Centre in Norwich and the University of York, she developed new statistical genetics approaches for deciphering complex traits of interest in plants. Since 2016, Andrea has been a Lecturer in Plant Biology at the University of York, where her lab works on new ways to interrogate genetic data in order to understand traits of importance for the environment, food security and agricultural sustainability. 


Liam Barratt

PhD student

Liam completed his undergraduate studies at the University of York, graduating with an MBiol in Biology (Biotechnology and Microbiology). Throughout the course of his undergraduate study, Liam’s interest shifted from the study of microbes, to plant biology and how genetics can be used to help solve global issues, such as food security. His previous work used differential expression analysis in an attempt to identify genes controlling heat tolerance traits in Triticum aestivum. Now, as part of Liam’s BBSRC White Rose DTP PhD studentship, he is using a number of statistical genetics approaches to identify genetic markers associated with increased heat and drought stress tolerance in T. aestivum landraces.

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James Bedford

Masters by Research student

James is an MSc by Research student in the Harper lab and recently completed his BSc Biology course at the University of York. He has a keen interest in plant genetics and using computational biology to answer important biological questions. His research project investigates the genetics of silicon defence in ash in the context of biotic threats such as ash dieback and emerald ash borer, aiming to identify genes linked to silicon deposition. To achieve this, James will be using state-of-the-art nanopore sequencing, statistical genetics, silicon analysis and field-site disease measurements.

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Former Lab Members


Ellis Smith

Alison Fellgett

Research Technician

Masters by Research student

Tom Emrich-Mills

Research Technician

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