Godfrey Philliam Apangu

A student from Uganda has graduated from the University with a PhD in Plant Biology, after completing four years of research looking at the effect certain fungal spores can have on human health and agriculture.      

Dr Apangu

Dr Godfrey Philliam Apangu investigated the extent to which Alternaria fungal spores is contributing to asthma, allergies like hay fever, and crop diseases.

He said: “My PhD project looked at the sources of Alternaria fungi, their species diversity, and how weather and crop harvesting affect their spore concentration in the air.

“My research found that harvesting of barley and rapeseed are a major contributor of airborne Alternaria spores in urban areas with nearby farming activities, which in turn means these harvesting practices can increase the severity and season of asthma, a variety of allergies, and crop diseases.”

Having already published two papers during his PhD research, and with a further five in the pipeline, Godfrey has already been able to establish himself as an academic presence, despite having only recently graduated. He has also already secured his next role, working as a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist with Rothamsted Research, in Harpenden.

“I feel happy and excited to be graduating after all the years of hard work,” he said. “At Worcester I learnt new skills in molecular biology, modelling, remote sensing, GIS, and I also polished some of my earlier skills in molecular biology. I certainly now feel better prepared for the tasks ahead.”

Find out more about the School of Science and the Environment at Worcester