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Jamie Pike

Age: 21
Graduated from Lord Grey: 2014

Qualifications achieved at Lord Grey

As well as core GCSE subjects, I chose History, Health and Social Care, and Media studies. I’m curious by nature and often struggle to pick one thing to focus on at a time; the subjects I studied helped me to narrow down what I am most passionate about and have fostered an interest in humans and the natural world; in particular the relationship between plants and people.

I particularly enjoyed Biology at Lord Grey and can remember many of the lessons, in particular taking Pelargonium cuttings to look at tropism. These lessons demonstrated the plant sciences as a potential career option.

Did you pursue any further education?

I am a PhD. student at Warwick University, my research focuses on a fungal pathogen of Banana plants called Panama disease or Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense. The aim of the research is to develop tools to diagnose the pathogen using molecular techniques as well as imaging technologies from satellites or drones.

Before Warwick, I studied Horticulture – Plant Science BSc (Hons) at the Eden Project, Cornwall, where I first started researching Panama disease. 

What is a stand out memory from your time at Lord Grey?

I have a lot of memories from Lord Grey – one of the stand out memories is planting Daffodil bulbs by the entrance to Student Services and Reception in Year 8. It helped to engage me with plants, and was at the start of a very green and slippery slope in to horticulture and the plant sciences.

Are you still in contact with friends you met at Lord Grey?

I made some of my best friends while at Lord Grey, and still speak with them regularly. It has been great to see them develop a variety of successful careers since we left.

Do you have any advice for students at Lord Grey who are considering a career in your industry?

If you’re considering a career in horticulture or the plant sciences, I’d recommend you show passion and a keenness to learn. It’s an industry filled with people obsessed with plants, you can learn so much and there is a real variety of career options. If you’re enthusiastic and curious, the horticultural world is your oyster.

What are your future career plans/ambitions?

I don’t yet have a clear future career plan. Within horticulture and the plant science I’m fascinated by sustainable food production, human interactions with plants, alternative growing methods, new technologies, plant interactions with microbes, plant biosecurity, and plant conservation – so I suppose my ambition is to see if I can find a job that incorporates all of my interests, but I still have a PhD to complete first!

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