Edgar Huitema

Division of Plant Sciences

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Natalja Kulagina


I have always been interested in biology, but it is during my BSc degree in France at the University of Science and Technology in Montpellier, that I decided to specialise in plant functional biology. I became particularly interested in plant–microorganism interactions and did my first internship in France at LSTM (Laboratory of Tropical and Mediterranean symbioses) with Dr Philippe de Lajudie, working on Crotalaria juncea – rhizobia symbiotic interaction and its potential application in root-knot nematode control in field. This experience, as well as my summer placement as lab technician at Agap (Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Tropical and Mediterranean Plants) confirmed my interest in plant sciences and I didn’t hesitate to continue with a Plant Functional Biology Master’s degree in Montpellier. At the mean time I did a 4-month internship at James Hutton Institute in Dundee with Dr Ingo Hein, working on plant non host resistance to Phytophthora infestans and Phytophthora capsici.  

Afterwards, in January 2014 I joined the lab of Dr Edgar Huitema as a PhD student with a project focused on Phytophthora capsici nuclear effectors, their targets and functions. This project aims to better understand effector function in the context of plant immune signalling and host susceptibility in order to apply synthetic biology approach to bolster plant immunity. I am very excited and looking forward to fully contributing to this research.


Natalja Kulagina

PhD student

Natalja Kulagina
Ph. D. student