Sonia has a PhD in microbiology and is currently a senior postdoctoral molecular bacteriologist at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee. Sonia investigates diseases caused by enterobacterial plant pathogens, focusing on Pectobacterium and Dickeya species which cause blackleg a soft rot diseases of potato. Her research focuses on improving the understanding of the biology and disease epidemiology of these bacterial pathogens and increasing the understanding of host resistance mechanisms. She has been involved in organising a number of events and was one of the main organisers of the EAPR pathology and pests section meeting held in Dundee in 2016.
The Plant Health Centre works with Scottish Government, public bodies and stakeholders to provide scientific evidence to help them make important decisions about pests and pathogens that threaten Scotland the most. Over the past 12 months we have delivered a consistent programme of stakeholder engagement and project commissioning, which are detailed in our annual report.
The Plant Health Centre completed an in-depth review of its first 18-months of activity for our funder (the Scottish Government through RESAS) in September 2019. While the full report is not yet available to the public, we have created a summary leaflet that outlines out achievements over this period.