Curriculum Vitae

Claudia Harflett

Address: 29 Ferndale Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 1PF.

Telephone: 01582 423631. Mobile: 07754 145029. Email:

Career Profile:

Keen plant & invertebrate ecologist with recently submitted DPhil on plant ecological interactions on contaminated land, seeks position as a Plant Ecologist to apply and develop my ecological and analytical chemistry skills further in a sustainable agricultural context. Interested in applying my knowledge of plant-herbivore interactions and plant chemical defences to improve food security and environmental sustainability through reduced chemical pesticide usage and phytoremediation.


DPhil in Ecology.    University of Sussex (BBSRC).       2008 – 2012.   Viva in April 2012.

Thesis: “Zinc accumulation and its effect on herbivory and competitive ability in metalliferous populations of Rumex acetosa.Professors Sue Hartley & Mike Ramsey.

Thesis Synopsis: Metal tolerance and accumulation has been hypothesised to confer an herbivore defence advantage and a competitive ability disadvantage. Using hyperaccumulating and accumulating zinc UK plant species, I found that plant palatability and competitive ability was not directly linked to foliar Zn concentration per se but interacted with both population identity and soil Zn concentration. Undertook chemical analysis of foliar and soil metal concentrations using AAS and ICP-MS. Involved field plant & invertebrate surveys and herbivore feeding trials.

BSc in Ecology.        (University of Hull, 2002 – 2005, First Class.)     Modules included: Ecological Monitoring (1st) Biological Data Analysis (1st), and Dissertation (1st).)

A- and AS- levels:    (Luton VI Form College, 2000 – 2002). A-level: Maths with Mechanics (B), Biology (C) and Chemistry (C). AS-level: English Literature (C) and Physics (D).

Previous Employment:

Research Assistant.             University of York.              July – September 2011.

Responsible for the experiment design, protocol and implementation of a preliminary herbivore preference trial, using GM Arabidopsis thaliana non-flowering plants. Obtaining, maintaining and handling culture of female Schistocerca gregaria (desert locust). Use of IMAGE J to obtain leaf surface areas.

Associate Tutor.                   University of Sussex.                       October 2008 – September 2010.

Tutored undergraduates in small groups (< 12 students), and in practical demonstrations and field trips (larger groups of < 20 students). Responsible for organising sessions, teaching set-work, invigilating exams, answering questions, giving advice, marking assessments and health and safety.

Metabolomics HPLC & NMR Technician: Rothamsted Research.            June 2006 – December 2007.

Responsible for plant sample harvesting, handling & storage, making up solvents, plant solvent extraction and fine weighing for HPLC and NMR analysis for various research projects, involving large sample numbers. Ran plant samples on an Agilent HPLC instrument, checking for instrumental and analytical precision, clean runs, and sample leaks. Identified and calculated peak areas for specified metabolites. Regularly maintained the instrumental equipment used due to high sample throughput.

Ecological Field Assistant:                         Rothamsted Research.                       May – July 2007.

Plant and pollinator identification and abundance scoring for temporal surveys of permanent transects and plant stands in agricultural crop fields. Assessing the fertility of wild Glechoma hederacea. Data-recording for a large number of samples. Maintenance of experimental field plots and plants. Hand-pollination of Raphanus raphanistrum. Catching Pieris rapae, and assisting with tagging and monitoring of radio-tracked butterflies.


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).

Relevant Skills:

Computer: Proficient in MS Office (Word, Excel, Access & PowerPoint). Proficient in statistical analysis (Minitab v.15 ) and bibliographic management using Endnote v 15. Competent in Photoshop and Image J for manipulating images.

Communication:Teaching and demonstrating experience of undergraduates and their dissertations as Associate Tutor. Informing the general public about wildlife conservation through volunteering with the Wildlife Trust and BBCT, and university & institute facilities through open days.

Conferences: Presented an oral presentation (2011) and a poster presentation (2009) on my DPhil work at the British Ecology Society annual meetings.


Previous Employers:

Dr. Liz Rylott – Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher.

CNAP, Department of Biology, University of York.

E-mail address:


DPhil Supervisors:

Professor Sue Hartley – Director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute (YESI).

Department of Biology, University of York.

Email address:


Professor Mike Ramsey – Professor of Environmental Science.

School of Life Science, JMS Building, University of Sussex.

Email address:          Website:


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