Biography

I studied BSc (Hons) Biology at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL), during which I investigated powdery mildew-barley interactions for my final year project. I continued my studies at RHUL focusing on mycorrhizae-wheat-aphid interactions in my MSc, which included research on wheat genotype dependant mycorrhizal colonisation, aphid life history traits and aphid feeding behaviour.

I completed my PhD in 2019 from University of Nottingham and Rothamsted Research, where I studied host plant resistance to aphids in ancestral wheat. This work focused on the chemical ecology, molecular biology, field ecology, and aphid physiology of aphid-wheat interactions to identify and investigate the mechanisms of natural resistance.

I recently joined the Toby Bruce lab group at Keele University as Research Associate on the project “Hijacking immunity: winners and losers in dual pest and pathogen attacks on a shared host.” This project is in collaboration with University of Nottingham School of Biosciences and School of Pharmacy.

Research and scholarship

My main interests are in entomology, field ecology, chemical ecology and behavioural ecology. I am particularly interested in aphid ecology and tritrophic interactions.

I am currently working on the BBSRC funded project “Hijacking immunity: winners and losers in dual pest and pathogen attacks on a shared host.” in collaboration with University of Nottingham School of Biosciences and School of Pharmacy.

During this project I will be combining chemical ecology, metabolomics, behavioural ecology, and molecular biology to uncover plant defence mechanisms against single and multiple attackers and to investigate pathogen-wheat-aphid interactions.

  • Simon, A.L., Wellham, P.A., Aradottir, G.I. and Gange, A.C., 2017. Unravelling mycorrhiza-induced wheat susceptibility to the English grain aphid Sitobion avenae. Scientific reports, 7, p.46497.
  • Simon, A.L., Smart, L.E., Hammond-Kosack, K.E., Field, L.M. and Aradottir, G.I., 2019. Temporal changes in post-alighting resistance to Rhopalosiphum padi (bird cherry-oat aphid) in ancestral wheats. bioRxiv. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2019.12.16.877589