Associate Professor Angela Feechan is the coordinator of the DAFM funded project, BioCrop. She recently moved to Heriot-Watt University from University College Dublin. Her research is focused on fungal pathogens of cereals with an aim to provide future disease control strategies. Angela gained her PhD from the University of Edinburgh, UK and completed postdocs at Copenhagen University, Denmark and CSIRO, Australia.
Dr. Saoirse Tracy is a soil and plant scientist at University College Dublin and PI on BioCrop. Her research centres around understanding plant root and soil interactions. Her research interests include using X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) to understand the response of roots to the soil physical environment. Prior to UCD she studied and worked at the University of Nottingham, U.K. In 2019 she was appointed as the Chair of the Soil Science Society of Ireland.
BioCrop is investigating the feasibility of utilising biobased products to reduce the use of manufactured fertilisers and pesticides. In collaboration with industry partners, we are testing existing biofertilisers (algal and bacterial based) and biostimulants (endophytes) in barley field trials while assessing disease (focussed on aphid-borne disease and Ramularia Leaf Spot, RLS). Biocrop also aims to produce new algal and fungal derived biopesticides and biostimulants. Life-cycle analysis will consider the environmental impacts of these products while economic modelling will assess production costs and profitability for Irish growers. BioCrop is an Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) funded project.