School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

Staff Profile

Dr Catherine Tetard-Jones

Research Fellow


I am a plant stress molecular biologist, interested in using elicitors (microbial or chemical) to prime stress tolerance. Additionally interested in proteomics led discovery of robust diagnostic molecular biomarkers of stress in crop and weed species. 

My BSc was in Biological Sciences at Salford University (2003) with an industrial placement at the Henry Doubleday Research Association in plant science. I subsequently moved to Manchester University for a PhD in plant-microbe interactions; location of plant genes associated with microbial enhanced endogenous resistance to aphids. I collaborated with partners in evolution, plant genetics and microbiology, funded by the NERC Environmental Genomics programme. After my PhD, I moved to Newcastle University for an EU FP7 funded project characterising wheat response to nutrient stress and genes involved in nutrient use efficiency (transcriptomics and proteomics). In my current research, I am characterizing molecular and biochemical mechanisms underpinning herbicide resistance in black-grass, a major weed pest of wheat crops, part of a national consortium funded by BBSRC-AHDB LoLa project (Black-Grass Resistance Initiative).

I regularly take part in knowledge exchange activities such as farmer focus workshops and national agricultural events (Cereals) to discuss translational aspects of the research with stakeholders (wheat growers, industry). 


Member of the Society of Biology (MSB)

Member of the editorial board for Agronomy - a multidisciplinary and open access journal.

Reviewer for many subject related journals (e.g.Evolutionary Ecology, Journal of Proteomics, Plant Physiology, The American Naturalist). 


Musings of a plant stress biologist


Throughout my research, I have been interested in crossing disciplines to synthesise a holistic picture of the dynamic mechanisms underpinning plant stress biology, mixing evolutionary ecology and quantitative genetics with molecular biology and numerical modelling. My research has focused on crop plant systems to enable translation of fundamental research into the development of sustainable crop health strategies.

My current research investigates mechanisms underpinning the evolution of herbicide resistance in Prof. Robert Edwards lab group, part of the BBSRC-HGCA Black-grass Resistance Initiative. I use a combination of evolutionary ecology experimentation and molecular techniques for:

  • testing hypothesised mechanisms of black-grass adaptation of resistance against multiple herbicide modes of action. 
  • identification of biomarkers for the development of in-field herbicide resistance diagnostics