Charlotte is a second-year PhD candidate at Hickey Lab at the Centre of Crop Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) at The University of Queensland, Australia.

Half Italian and French, with Spanish, Belgian, Russian and Armenian origins. She completed her bachelor’s degree and master's degree at the University of Padova (Italy). She did her master thesis at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Thuwal, Saudi Arabia) at the Center of desert agriculture with Prof. Heribert Hirt. She was studying the response of stomata upon Flagellin and ABA treatment in Arabidopsis thaliana. After her master she undertook an internship at Hickey Lab under the supervision of Dr Lee Hickey studying the roots system architecture in barley and wheat. Afterwards she won a scholarship of six months at the University of Bologna (Italy) at Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences (DISTAL). She worked on the physiological and molecular response in horticultural and aromatic plants grown in the absence of natural light at different LED lighting regimes. 

Her PhD research is part of an international project funded by the International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) that assembles a world-class team of leaders in root research and wheat genetic improvement.

She is studying the root system of bread wheat adopting desirable root traits associated with crop yield and yield stability improvement. Her aim is to develop diffrent root ideotypes better adapted to a diverse panel of environments and soil profiles to optimise root systems in wheat.

In addition to her research, Charlotte is currently the social media coordinator of the QAAFI Student Association (QSA). She recently won the Crawford-in-Queensland Student Award 2020 to be able to visit the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico to conduct collaborative root research.

Project title: Optimising root systems in wheat


Makhoul, M., Rambla, C., Voss-Fels, K.P. et al. Overcoming polyploidy pitfalls: a user guide for effective SNP conversion into KASP markers in wheat. Theor Appl Genet (2020). 


Areas of research