Rothamsted Research

where knowledge grows


Claudia Harflett

Research Assistant
Plant Biology & Crop Science

Currently I am a Metabolomics Research Assistant for the Cropping Carbon program and am involved in the high-throughput metabolomic analysis of Willows (Salix spp.) and Miscanthus giganteus tissues  This generally involves setting up, maintaining and harvesting very large controlled environment and field experiments for metabolomics and transcriptomics analysis. Additionally I carry out solvent extractions for NMR, DI-ESI-MS and HPLC analysis. I am responsible for sample management and storage and liaise with multiple groups within Rothamsted.

I am a keen ecological chemist with recently submitted DPhil on plant ecological interactions on contaminated land and am currently writing up papers intended for New Phytologist. My DPhil at the University of Sussex focused on the ecological interactions of Zn tolerance and uptake in the pseudometallophyte Rumex acetosa. I have a strong ecological and metabolomics background through my DPHIL & Bachelor degrees and work history. Before undertaking my DPHIL, I was involved in several metabolomic and plant pollination projects at Rothamsted, allowing me to gain valuable field and experiments skills and a passion for research!

I am interested in developing my ecological and analytical chemistry skills further in a sustainable agricultural context. I intend to apply my research skills and knowledge of plant-herbivore interactions and plant chemical defences to improve food security and environmental sustainability.

+44 (0) 1582 763 133 ext: +44 1582 938196
Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ
Past Projects
  • The Wheat Genetic Improvement Network (WGIN) - Improving the environmental footprint of farming through crop genetics and targeted traits analysis

Corol, D. I., Harflett, C., Beale, M. H. and Ward, J. L. (2014). An Efficient High Throughput Metabotyping Platform for Screening of Biomass Willows. Metabolites  4.(4). 946-976; doi:10.3390/metabo4040946


Fernandez-Orozco, R., Li, L., Harflett, C. Shewry, P. R., and Ward, J. L. (2010). Effects of environment and genotype on phenolic acids in wheat in the HEALTHGRAIN diversity screen. J. Ag. Food. Chem. 58. (17). 9341-9352.


Li, L., Harflett, C., Beale, M. H., and Ward, J. L. (2009). Chapter 5: Phenolic Acids. In: P.R. Shewry & J. L. Ward eds. HEALTHGRAIN Methods: Analysis of Bioactive Components in Small Grain Cereals. AACC International (Minnesota).



DPhil in Biology (University of Sussex)


BSc in Ecology (Univerisity of Hull)

Measures of esteem


  • Oral Presentation: BES AGM 2011. Presented: "The effect of herbivory on the competitive ability of two Zn-tolerant populations of Rumex acetosa". In summary I investigated the effect that herbivory has on the competitive ability of two Zn-accumulating populations, grown at slightly contaminated and highly contaminated soil Zn concentrations. I conclude that: 1) Soil Zn concentration influences heritable metal-tolerant plant population traits such as: Competitive ability, Foliar Zn concentration. Metal Tolerance 2) However metal-tolerant population variation is reduced under high soil Zn concentrations. 3) Naïve snail herbivory â?? low â?? preference is not influenced by the Rumex acetosa population type â?? foliar Zn concentration too high? 4) However the presence of naïve herbivory causes: Significant reduction in shoot biomass High Zn site (GM): increase in foliar Zn concentration.


  • 2008 Prize for Ecology at University of Hull, Scarborough Campus