Current postgraduate students

Postgraduate students in the Joint Graduate School of Horticulture and Food Enterprise are working on a broad range of research projects. Find out more about our people and projects.

Marzieh Keshavarzi - postgrad student

Marzieh Keshavarzi
PhD Plant Science

The mechanism of hormonal effects on increasing branching in gentian. 

The interaction between plant hormones in the control of branching is being explored, within ornamental gentian cultivars.  The research strategies have involved, light and scanning electron microscopy, in vitro manipulations of plant material and growing media, and analysis of endogenous hormones.  

Academic Supervisors:Dr Keith Funnell (Plant & Food Research Ltd), Dr David Woolley (Institute of Agriculture & Environment), Professor Julian Heyes (Institute of Food Nutrition and Human Health).

Scholarships: Capability Development in Ornamental Horticulture (Plant & Food Research and Massey University), Massey University Doctoral Scholarship.

Contact: Keith Funnell 

Sarina Manandhar
PhD Plant Science

Crop Architecture: Investigations into the ' branch inhibiting hormone' strigolactone 

The interaction between plant hormones in the control of branching, is being explored, with a range of horticultural crops, including fruit and ornamental species.  Focused on strigolactone, research strategies have involved, in vitro manipulations of plant material and growing media, analysis of endogenous hormones by bioassays, HPLC and mass spectrometry. 

  

Academic supervisors: Dr Keith Funnell (Plant & Food Research Ltd) and Dr David Woolley (Institute of Agriculture & Environment).

Scholarships:  Capability Development in Ornamental Horticulture(Plant & Food Research and Massey University), Massey University Doctoral Scholarship

Contact: Keith Funnell 

Yuguo Wang
PhD Plant Science

Seasonal changes of non-structural carbohydrates related to the growth and development of gentians.

Changes of carbohydrates in various organs of gentians, and enzyme activity related to carbohydrate metabolism were explored. Storage and utilization of unique carbohydrates, i.e., gentianose and gentiobiose, are related to the formation of crown- buds, and their development through to flowering. 

 

Academic supervisors: Drs Keith Funnell, Ed Morgan and Jocelyn Eason (Plant & Food Research Ltd), and Dr David Woolley (Institute of Agriculture & Environment, Massey University).

Scholarships:  Capability Development in Ornamental Horticulture(Plant & Food Research and Massey University)

Contact: Keith Funnell 

 

Maxim Prokchorchik

PhD Plant Science

Molecular basis for scab resistance in apple and pear 

Venturia inaequalis, V. nashicola and V. pirina are the most economically-important pathogens of the apple and pear industries in New Zealand. The most effective and environmentally safe method to control this disease is the development of resistant cultivars; however, the genetic basis of disease resistance to scab in apple and pear is poorly understood. We aim to better understand the molecular and genetic basis of plant immunity triggered by Venturia species using apple and pear as model plants.  

Academic supervisors: Drs Jo Bowen, Vincent Bus, David Chagne (Plant & Food Research) and Dr Kee Sohn (Institute of Agriculture & Environment).

Scholarships:   Postgraduate School of Horticulture and Food Enterprise  (Plant & Food Research and Massey University)

Contact: Kee Sohn

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