NACM is proud to be working with NIAB-EMR and the other partners to sponsor BBSRC CTP PhD students who are conducting cider apple relevant research as a part of their PhD. Over a series of features we will introduce you to each student and the topic that they are researching. To begin with, we look at an overview of the programme and how it will help to contribute to a secure and sustainable future for cider apple growing. For more information please contact us.
Carlota is doing a PhD with NIAB-EMR and the University of Reading. She studied in Environmental Sciences at the Universitat de Girona (Spain), the region of Spain she is from, and has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Conservation of Biodiversity from the University of Kent. After university, she worked in the forestry sector for two years, focusing on seed dormancy and germination.
Her PhD is “Understanding the mechanisms of apple dormancy break in the context of climate change”. In the UK, climate change projections predict an increase in temperatures and in the frequency of extreme weather events. For apple production, this translates into a longer growing season with higher chances of frost due to early flowering and a shorter and potentially insufficient chilling period. Insufficient chilling can contribute to the absence or delay of bud break and the production of smaller and abnormal fruits, having a huge impact on apple production. A modelling approach is required to anticipate climate change impacts on dormancy break. The overall goal of this PhD is to develop a new chilling model for apple, which will be used to advice growing ractices and guarantee future apple production in the UK.