Dr Nichola Austen

Postdoctoral Researcher

Nichola is a Post Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, and a member of the Oxford Martin Programme on Dryland Bioenergy. She is interested in using analytical chemistry techniques to investigate impacts of environmental change on plant metabolism.

Nichola’s current research is an interdisciplinary approach with the Departments of Engineering and Geography on the Dryland Bioenergy Project, investigating the chemical composition and suitability of CAM plant species to be cultivated as a bioenergy crop for African countries.

Nichola obtained her PhD in 2018 from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield. Her research focused on the effects of increasing carbon dioxide and temperature on plant secondary metabolism. She measured biogenic volatile organic compound emissions from willow plants in response to environmental stress using several mass spectrometry techniques.

Nichola also holds a pump-priming BBSRC grant (Co-Investigator) with the Department of Civil Engineering (University of Sheffield) and Severn Trent Water to investigate agricultural waste contamination in British rivers.