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


Known as: Juniper Kiss


Nationality: Hungarian              
Residency: United Kingdom (since 2014)



Highly motivated first-year PhD student at the University of Southampton, working with subsistence farmers in Papua New Guinea. Extensive research experience in field-work, greenhouse, and wet lab experiments. Passionate about science communication, writing, and public engagement in plant sciences.



  • 2020 - 2024: University of Southampton - INSPIRE Doctoral Training Program: Enhancing ecosystem functioning to improve the resilience of subsistence farming in Papua New Guinea.

  • 2019-2020: University of Exeter - BBSRC SWBio Doctoral Training Program: Preparing for Fusarium wilt of bananas in Latin America. Exiting with MRes with Distinction in Sept 2020 due to lab environment and transferring to INSPIRE DTP at the University of Southampton.

  • 2017-2019: Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK – BSc (Hons) Plant Biology
    (full-time, transferred into the second year, graduated with First Class degree)

  • 2014 – 2017: Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), Cambridge, UK – BSc (Hons) Marine Biology with Biodiversity and Conservation (three years part-time)



CABI (Egham, UK) - Summer Research Technician

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

  • Set up multiple-choice choices for potential arthropod biocontrol agents, carried out glasshouse and laboratory maintenance under quarantine conditions.

  • Responsible for test plants including pest control.


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

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

  • Met strict deadlines set by DEFRA-APHA, with a team of 12 temporary staff.

  • Responsible for the training of new staff, off-site data collection of plant characters from 5,000 test plots and image analysis of oilseed rape petals, pods, cotyledons, bean leaves, and flowers.

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


ARU (Cambridge, UK) as an Undergraduate Student working on a research project

  • Proposed a statistically robust system for the European bramble
    classification system.

  • Collected, processed, and imaged over 300 bramble samples from the UK.

  • Carried out a three-loci PCR at Eotvos Lorand University (Budapest, Hungary) of 65 leaf samples.

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

  • Developed a bramble cane propagation protocol using woody canes in the fall. 


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

  • Spent 10-weeks within the Plant Pathology Department working on
    downy mildew resistance in spinach using DNA fingerprinting,
    maintaining tissue cultures and 
    Virus-Induced Gene Silencing.

  • Carried out pathogen isolations, pathogenicity testing, DNA extraction,
    and PCR for
     downy mildew and Fusarium wilt of cilantro and celery.

  • Used Vegetative Compatibility Testing for celery Fusarium population structure analysis.

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




Writer - BotanyOne (UK)                                                                                                              4/2020 – currently

Committee Member of the Society of Chemical Industry - Horticulture                            12/9/2019 – currently

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




  • 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.




  • ‘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:

In 2013, 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...

This summer I flew AROUND THE GLOBE with 2 scholarships - London to Arkansas, Arkansas to Vancouver, Vancouver to Manila, Manila to Doha, Doha to Ireland. #luckybeyondimagination 

In the acknowledgments part, I thanked my friend for 'her endless support' and people were confused about our relationship. 

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

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

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

Video of the story of GOES at ARU in 2017.

Recorded it for the Sustainable Agronomy Conference in 2020.


Receive rare emails on new blog posts. 

© 2020 Juniper Boroka Kiss - pictures are subject to copyright.

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