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Dr Hester Sheehan

Post Doctoral Research Associate
Dr Hester Sheehan

Hester Sheehan is available for consultancy.

Department of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing Street

Cambridge CB2 3EA
Office Phone: 01223 330232


Hester completed her PhD in 2016 at the University of Bern where she worked on characterizing the molecular basis of adaptation to pollinators in Petunia. In particular, she focused on alterations in anthocyanin pigments and the UV-absorbing pigments, flavonols. Hester is interested in the molecular and biochemical changes that underpin the evolution of different phenotypes. She is intrigued by how entire genetic networks can evolve to produce novel, specialized compounds. Her work in the Brockington lab will focus on understanding the molecular and biochemical basis of the emergence of the betalain pigments. She is funded by a Swiss National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellowship.

Key Publications

Sheehan H, Moser M, Klahre U, Esfeld K, Dell’Olivo A, Mandel T, Metzger S, Vandenbussche M, Freitas L and Kuhlemeier C. (2016) MYB-FL controls gain and loss of floral UV absorbance, a key trait affecting pollinator preference and reproductive isolation. Nature Genetics 48: 159-166

Hermann K, Klahre U, Moser M, Sheehan H, Mandel T, Kuhlemeier C. (2013) Tight genetic linkage of prezygotic barrier loci creates a multifunctional speciation island in Petunia. Current Biology 23: 873-877

Sheehan H, Hermann K, Kuhlemeier C. (2012) Color and scent: how single genes influence pollinator attraction. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 77: 117-133

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