Dr Andrea Harper
Lecturer in Plant Biology

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2016 - Lecturer in Plant Biology

Department of Biology, University of York

2014 - 2016 Senior Research Associate CNAP, Department of Biology, University of York
2013 - 2014 Research Associate CNAP, Department of Biology, University of York
2009 - 2013 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre
2009 PhD Department of Biosciences, University of Birmingham
2003 MSc  Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester
2002 BSc Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester




Research Overview

Identifying the genetic loci responsible for the control of complex traits is of acute interest in modern plant breeding, but it can be particularly difficult in species with few existing genomics resources. My research is focused on developing versatile new statistical genetics approaches, such as Associative Transcriptomics (AT), which are capable of associating trait variation with different types of genetic markers, and flexible enough to be adapted to a range of plant species. As well as being suitable for marker-assisted breeding, these markers can reveal important information about the biological mechanisms underlying trait variation. Collaboratively, we are working to apply these technologies to investigate various traits in Triticum aestivum – bread wheat, and tolerance to ash dieback disease in the European Ash tree Fraxinus excelsior.

Selected Publications

Sollars, Harper, Kelly, & Sambles et al., (2017) Genome sequence and genetic diversity of European ash trees. Nature 541: 2012-2016

Harper et al., (2016) Associative transcriptomics identifies markers associated with reduced susceptibility to Ash Dieback disease in the European Ash tree Fraxinus excelsior. Scientific Reports 6:19335

Harper et al., (2012) Associative transcriptomics of traits in the polyploid crop species Brassica napus. Nature Biotechnology 30:798-802


Establishing an Associative Transcriptomics platform for the development of resilient ash in the UK (Defra)


Contact details

Dr Andrea Harper
Department of Biology
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44(0)1904 328670