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Nelson

Research Fellow

My research interests include phenomics, quantitative genetics and genomic selection. Previously, I have worked as a Plant breeder at Unilever Tea Kenya breeding program for 8 years. During my PhD, I extensively phenotyped tea quality (a poorly understood attribute, yet is used to determine the price of tea). I correlated specific polyphenols in green tea with sensory characteristics to understand the most important ones that can be used to quantify tea quality objectively. Additionally, I fit genomic selection models and identified candidate genes involved in tea quality using GWAS. My current work at Roslin Institute is to develop a transition strategy to enable a hybrid breeding program transition to the two-part strategy over 4 years. The two-part strategy consists of two features: (i) population improvement: and (ii) product development. Population improvement aims to increase the average performance of an overall population. Product development seeks to extract an individual genotype from that improved population, test it and disseminate it to farmers.

Employment History

2020-Present: Train@ED Fellow – Quantitative Genetics

Roslin Institute, UK.

2012-2020: R&D Scientist - Tea breeding

Unilever Tea, Kenya.

2011-2012: Research Assistant - Tea Breeding

Tea Research Institute, Kenya.

Education

2016-2019: PhD in Bioscience (Plant breeding and Genetics)

The University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus.
Thesis: Genomic prediction and genome wide association mapping of quality traits in tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze).

2012-2014: MSc in Plant breeding and Biotechnology

University of Eldoret, Kenya.
Thesis: Combining ability and G x E interaction of quality traits in tea ((Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze).

2006-2010: Bachelors of science in Biotechnology

Kenyatta University, Kenya.

 

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