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Every now and again, I will be sharing stories behind my CV.

Crop trials
Plant pathology


Known as: Juniper Kiss

Nationality: Hungarian              
Residency: United Kingdom (since 2014), Australia (since Aug 2022)


Highly motivated Extension Group Leader based in Darwin (NT, Australia) in Plant and Livestock Industries. Suspended PhD student at the University of Southampton, working with subsistence farmers in Papua New Guinea. Extensive research experience in data analysis, fieldwork, greenhouse, and wet lab experiments. Passionate about science communication, outreach and agricultural extension programs.





Extension Group Leader - Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Northern Territory Government (Darwin, NT, Australia)

  • Prepare, publish and promote adoption of new technologies and methodologies that maximise profitability and sustainability of the Northern Territory plant-based and livestock industries

  • Personally engage with the producers and operators of the plant-based and livestock industries of the Northern Territory for identifying prospects of improving productivity and profitability in their agribusinesses

  • Manage staff and maintain an active professional development pathways

Research Officer, Geospatial Health and Development, Telethon Kids Institute (Perth, WA, Australia)

  • Working within the Malaria Atlas Project team, delivering the Global Burdens of Disease pipeline (e.g., spatial modelling, implementation of workflows, dissemination of results, writing research articles)

  • Carrying out systemic literature reviews according to MAP's protocols 

  • Creating visualisations of outputs

  • Engaging international collaborators and stakeholders
    (e.g., WHO, IHME, WWARN, Swiss TPH)

Agricultural Extension, Research and Development Officer - Liebe Group (Dalwallinu, WA, Australia)

  • Working on 17 research projects at the Liebe Group (a not-for-profit grower group).
  • Responsible for crop trial coordination with farmers, subcontractors, GRDC, governmental organisations (DPIRD) and universities (e.g., Curtin University, UWA).
  • Writing tender applications, designing research projects, monitoring and managing crop field trials, analysing data, organising events, workshops and developing extension materials (newsletters, videos)

Field Trials Technician and Team Leader - NIAB (Cambridge, UK)

  • Worked within the Agricultural Crop Characterization Department on European crop variety DUS trials

  • Met strict deadlines set by DEFRA and APHA, with a team of 12 temporary technicians

  • Trained new staff, coordinated off-site data collection of plant characters from 5,000 test plots and image analysis of oilseed rape petals, pods, and cotyledons of a £1.2 million budget project.

  • Maintained Long Term Seed Store database, conducted phenol and gel electrophoresis for cereals.

Summer Research Technician - CABI (Egham, UK)

  • Worked within the Invasive Species Management Team in 2013 and 2015.

  • Set up multiple-choice choice experiments to test potential arthropod biocontrol agents against invasive plants

  • Responsible for glasshouse and quarantine facilities maintenance including daily watering and pest management


ARU (Cambridge, UK) and Aberystwyth University (Wales)as an Undergraduate Student
working on an independent 
research project

  • Designed and carried out an independent research project on British bramble taxonomy

  • Collected bramble leaves from contrasting ecosystems the UK and used image analysis (ImageJ software) for geometric morphometrics (MorphoJ and R software)

  • Extracted leaf tissue DNA and carried out three-loci PCR at Eotvos Lorand University (Budapest, Hungary) for phylogenetic analysis

  • Completed Introduction to Geometric Morphometrics intensive course by Transmitting Science.

  • Developed a bramble cane propagation protocol using woody canes.

C. Roy Adair Scholar at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, USA)

  • 10-week internship within the Plant Pathology Department working on downy mildew resistance in baby spinach, including primer designing, Virus-Induced Gene Silencing and tissue culture management.

  • Isolated and identified plant pathogens from California, carried out pathogenicity testing, DNA extraction, PCR of downy mildew strains and carried out VCG testing of Fusarium isolates of cilantro and celery

  • Diagnosed spinach and cilantro fields in California and visited blackberry and raspberry breeding stations.

Masters by Research at the University of Bristol (based at the University of Exeter, UK)

  • Enrolled in the SWBio Doctoral Training Program but exited after one year due to harassment. 

  • Designed and carried out in vitro and greenhouse experiments to understand the lifecycle of Panama disease (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense TR4) on bananas and investigated the effect of banana root exudates on TR4 germination. 

  • Carried out spatial modelling and economic analysis (TV-STAR model) of local banana price shocks in the Philippines due to extreme weather events. 

  • Developed a theoretical mathematical model to estimate the reliability of microbial biological control agents against Panama disease (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense TR4) in the Philippines, suggesting the application of different species and strains at different times of the year, at different locations.



Extension Group Leader (Australia)                                                                                           9/2023 currently

Research Officer - TKI (Australia)                                                                                                1/2023 – 9/2023

Research and Development Officer - Liebe Group (Australia)                                               8/2022 – 12/2022

Writer - BotanyOne (UK)                                                                                                               4/2020 – 1/2022

Committee Member of SCI - Horticulture & Agrifood ECR groups                                        9/2019 – 6/2021

Social Media and Communications Assistant – ASPB (USA)                                                   2/2018 – 9/2019
Steering Committee member – New Networks for Nature (UK)                                            7/2017 – 8/2018
Administration Assistant – Powdery Mildew Summer School
(Eszterházy Károly University, HU)                                                                                              8/2017 – 9/2017
Executive Committee member – Cambridge Conservation Forum                                       2/2017 – 8/2017
Field Trials Technician and Team Leader - NIAB (Cambridge, UK)                                         8/2015 – 12/2016
Summer Research Technician – CABI (Egham, UK)                                                                  6/2015 – 8/2015
Catering Assistant – National Trust (Anglesey Abbey, UK)                                                      9/2014 – 6/2015
Administration Assistant – Powdery Mildew Summer School

(Eszterházy Károly University, HU)                                                                                              6/2014 – 8/2014

Summer Technician – CABI (Egham, UK)                                                                                    6/2013 – 8/2013




  • Royal Society of Geography - IBG Postgraduate Research grant, 2022 (£500) - Swidden agriculture meets new soil metagenomics approach in Papua New Guinea

  • Judith Heath Explorer for Botany and Research by the Scientific
    Exploration Society, 2021 (£5,250) - Go on a "sweet potato hunt" along Mt Wilhelm in Papua New Guinea

  • NEOF Early Career Pilot Scheme, 2021 (£10,000) - Soil shotgun metagenomic sequencing of the swidden agricultural cycle and experimental sweet potato gardens to explore soil functioning (functional gene abundances)

  • Heredity Fieldwork Grant by the Genetics Society, 2021 (£1,500) - 
    Investigating soil functioning during the swidden agricultural cycle in Papua New Guinea

  • British Society of Plant Pathology's Junior Fellowship, 2021 (£3,000) - For
    PhD fieldwork to investigate the relationship between community plant pathogen load and crop species richness in Papua New Guinea.

  • Tropical Agriculture Association, Standard Award, 2021 (£2,000) - For PhD fieldwork
    (establishing experimental gardens) in Papua New Guinea.

  • Nelson Yield-Limiting Factors Graduate Student Scholarship, 2020 ($3,000) by American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science and Soil Science 

  • The Royal Society of Biology 'Top Student Award' (2019)

  • The Royal Society of Biology 'Top Project Award for a BSc Student on an RSoB Accredited Scheme' (2019)

  • Stapledon Society Prize' for the Highest Mark of any IBERS Bachelor of Science Degree (2019)

  • David Miller Award (£500) by the Society of Chemical Industry - 
    Attended the CORBANA International Banana Congress in
    Miami, FL

  • Travel Award, 2019 - To present at Plant Sciences Symposium
    at Minnesota University ($500), sponsored by CORTEVA 

  • 'Best Presenter' Award by the Young Systematics Forum, Natural History
    Museum, London - presenting "Phylogenetic signal in subgenus Rubus
    (brambles, blackberries) leaflet shape using geometric morphometrics"
    about undergraduate research.

  • Agronomic Travel Study Undergraduate Scholarship, 2018 ($5,000) by American Society of Agronomy – 3-week intensive Rice: Research to Production course at IRRI (Los Banos, Philippines)

  • Adair Scholar by University of Arkansas, 2018 ($5,600) – a 10-week internship with Prof Jim Correll, working on downy mildew resistance in spinach, plant-pathogen diagnosis 

  • Phenome Travel Grant, 2018 ($2,000) – Attending and presenting poster and lightning talk about independent research, ‘Revisiting subgenus Rubus (blackberries) taxonomy
    ith the combination of geometric morphometrics and molecular methods’
    at Phenome Conference in Tucson, AZ organised by ASPB

  • Conviron Scholarship, 2017 by ASPB - hands-on virtual learning program
    that includes career seminars, round-table discussions, and workshops
    that help develops skills for success. Mentored by Prof Sarah Wyatt.
    Built website part of the scholarship.

  • Anglia Trust Foundation Scholarship (£750), 2017 – four weeks visiting the Plant Protection Directorate (Ministry of Agricultural Development) and CABI in Nepal to learn about
    agricultural extension programs.

  • The Big Pitch, 2017 (£1,000) by Anglia Ruskin University – competition for
    start-ups consisted of one-year mentorship, leadership coaching and presentation, and business planning boot camp.

  • Be the Change’ grant, 2017 (£1,000) by the Global Sustainability Institute – 
    Incorporating GOES magazine’s structure into the curriculum.

  • Andy Wilson Bursary, 2017 (£1,000) by Anglia Ruskin University – start-up
    costs for GOES magazine

  • John Ray Summer Research Grant, 2017 (£500) by John Ray Trust – carried out independent research on blackberry taxonomy by combining image analysis with molecular methods.

  • Golden Opportunities Scholar, 2016 ($2,200) by American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science and Soil Science – Travelled to ASA, ASCS, ASSS’s AGM in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

  • Anglia Trust Foundation Scholarship, 2016 (£560) – two weeks at Konnevesi
    Research Station at Jyvaskyla University, Finland. Completed Boreal Winter
    Methods in Community Ecology course.

  • Anglia Trust Foundation Scholarship, 2015 (£750) – 10 weeks in the Namib Desert at Kuzikus Nature Reserve, completing vegetation surveys, animal population counts, and small mammal trappings.




  • Second place in student poster and 5-minute rapid-fire presentation during ASA-CSSA-SSSA AGM 2020: "Biocontrols Against Banana Pests and Diseases: A Bayesian Meta-Analysis”

  • Second place in student presentation during Sustainable Agronomy Conference by ASA-CSSA-SSSA 2020:

  • "Biocontrols Against Banana Pests and Diseases: A Bayesian Meta-Analysis”

  • ‘Best Presenter’ award (£100) by the Systematists Association, Young Systematists Forum, Natural History Museum, London, 2018 –Presented "Phylogenetic signal in subgenus Rubus (brambles, blackberries) leaflet shape using geometric morphometrics"

  • Phenome Travel Grant ($2,000) for Phenome Conference in Tucson, AZ, 2018 – Presented poster and lightning talk titled "Revisiting subgenus Rubus (blackberries) taxonomy with the combination of geometric morphometrics and molecular methods"

  • Poster presenter at XIV. Hungarian Plant Anatomy Symposium, 2017, Eotvos Lorant University, Budapest, Hungary – Title: “Can bramble taxonomy rely on leaf morphology?”

  • Speaker at “Megadiverse communities - from patterns to explanations” international workshop at the Konnevesi Research Station, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, 2016 – Title: “Three-way systems and their application in biological control agent testing at CABI”


Publication summaries

Interviews, Plant Day infographics, Taproot podcast and GOES magazine editing and designing:

I was instructed to take 1 day off which led to me sleeping in a storage cupboard at a Travel Lodge...

I lived in a tent during the summer and was told off for buying too many cakes for my team!

My supervisors told me NOT to work on brambles so I HAD TO work on brambles...

Fell in love with statistics here! 

Filled out the Conviron application on a coach journey which led to an internship working on #plantsci social media

Ran mini-module where every student got cake/chocolate if they asked a question and everyone got to design their own business cards.

This summer I flew AROUND THE GLOBE with 2 scholarships - London to Arkansas, then to Vancouver, then to Manila, then Doha, then to Ireland!

Before you think I'm a Super Nerd... Please read my blog!

Agricultural R&D
Malaria Research

I got malaria whilst working on my PhD in PNG and had to be treated in Australia. I became obsessed

Papua New Guinea
ASPB, Conviron
GOES magazine
GO Scholar

Video of how I started up GOES magazine at ARU in 2017.

Video during lockdown about bramble - trying to cheer people up... 

Recorded it for the Sustainable Agronomy Conference in 2020.

"PhD hopes dreams" presentation in 2021. 

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