• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Fungal pathogens
Genome plasticity
Population genomics
Plant Pathology
Genome sequencing


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr. Megan McDonald completed her PhD in 2012 in the Phytopathology Group at the ETH Zürich in Switzerland. After completing her PhD she was awarded a Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship to take-up post-doctoral work in the genomics of plant pathogens at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. In Australia she was funded by wheat growers to continue her work on the genomics of fungal plant pathogens, looking specifically at genome plasticity and fungicide resistance. In 2020, Megan was awarded a Birmingham Fellowship to start her own research group at the University of Birmingham

Research interests

Megan uses next-generation sequencing tools identify and characterise virulence genes from fungal pathogens of wheat and barley. To do this Megan has worked extensively with long-read de novo genome assembly, genome annotation and transposon annotation. Megan’s background is in population genetics of plant pathogens, studying their origins and global movement during her graduate studies. More recent interests include transposon mediated horizontal gene transfer and 3D chromosomal reconstruction techniques using sequencing data.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Science, Evolution and acquisition of necrotrophic effectors by the fungal wheat pathogen Phaeosphaeria nodorum and close relatives, ETH Zürich

16 Sept 20084 Oct 2012

Award Date: 4 Oct 2012


  • Q Science (General)
  • Mycology
  • Fungal pathogens
  • Plant Pathology
  • Genome Plasticity
  • population genetics
  • Fungicide resistance


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