Contact Ciara O'Brien

Areas of expertise

  • Bioinformatics
  • Computing, Simulation & Modelling
  • Food Quality
  • Food Safety


Ciara received her BA (mod) in Genetics from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) in 2020. During her final year, she developed new null alleles of TRY in Arabidopsis using CRISPR for her thesis research project. During this time, she developed an interest in plant molecular biology and has begun her PhD in this field. In 2019, Ciara completed an internship in the Trinity Biomedical Science Institute (TBSI). There, she developed her biochemical skills and knowledge, studying the immunometabolic switching in human macrophages after viral challenge. 

Ciara's hopes to focus her future career on reducing food waste through better understanding of the genetics and biochemistry involved in pre- and post-harvest plant physiology.

Current activities

Ciara is currently a PhD student in the Plant Science Laboratory at Cranfield University.

Ciara's project focuses on the development of classification methods for mango fruits into different ripening stages. Both VisNIR spectroscopy and LDV will be compared as candidates for fruit analysis on the production line, while using biochemical analyses and machine learning to predict dominant variables involved in each ripening stage. They are also investigating the activities of phytohormones at the postharvest stage in mango, and how they cause differences between cultivars.

Ciara is currently a Research Assistant in Bioscience with the ACES (Africa Centre of Excellence For Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain) project. 


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