I am currently a PhD student jointly funded by Manchester Metropolitan University and the James Hutton Institute, looking at how temporal dynamism influences plant community coexistence in UK grasslands. My work focusses on how plant traits and soil processes during growing seasons can structure plant communities. I am also interested in plant competition dynamics, linking above and below ground ecology and interactions between plants and soil microbes.
Previously I achieved a BSc (Hons) in Plant Science at the University of Manchester. As part of my degree I worked for a year at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Whilst there I studied the cryopreservation and symbiotic germination of orchid seeds, as part of ex-situ conservation of endangered orchids from the Central Highlands of Madagascar.
When not studying I enjoy dressmaking, baking and gardening.
Rafter, M., K. Yokoya, E. J. Schofield, L. W. Zettler & V. Sarasan (2016) Non-specific symbiotic germination of Cynorkis purpurea (Thouars) Kraezl., a habitat-specific terrestrial orchid from the Central Highlands of Madagascar. Mycorrhiza, 26, 541-52.