University of Hertfordshire

Dr Yongju Huang



Research interests

Plant diseases, especially diseases of oilseed rape and strawberry. Research on phoma stem canker, demonstrated the differences between Leptosphaeria maculans and Leptosphaeria biglobosa in biology and epidemiology that enable the two pathogens to co-exist on their host (Huang et al., 2001, 2003; Toscano-Underwood et al., 2003; Fitt et al., 2006), provided evidence that the time of ascospore release differed between L. maculans and L. biglobosa (Huang et al., 2005 and 2011) which affects the effectiveness of fungicide application, discovered effects of temperature on expression of R gene-mediated resistance (Huang et al., 2006),  provided insights into symptomless growth of the pathogen for understanding and detecting quantitative resistance (Huang et al., 2009, 2014 and 2016),  provided evidence that pathogen fitness cost at an Avr locus may be used as an indicator of durability of the corresponding host resistance gene (Huang et al., 2006 & 2010), provided evidence that combination of R genes and quantitative resistnace increases cultivar resistance (Huang et al., 2018; Mitrousia et al., 2018) and quantitative resistance against phoma stem canker pathogen growth in leaves of young plants contribute to quantitative resistance in stems of adult plants (Huang et al., 2019). Other research includes work on Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (stem rot) on oilseed rape (Huang et al., 2000; Liu et al., 2001), Podospheara aphanis (powdery mildew) on strawberry (Jin et al., 2012) and interactions between fungal pathogens causing phoma stem canker (L. maculans and L. biglobosa) and light leaf spot (Pyrenopeziza brassicaein vitro (Fortune et al., 2019).



1999-2002, PhD, University of Hertfordshire and Rothamsted Research

1988-1991, MSc, Huazhong Agricultural University, China

1984-1988, BSc, Huazhong Agricultural University, China

Teaching specialisms

Supervision of students

Supervison of research students and tutor for undergraduate students. She has supervised seven PhD students and two MSc students, currently supervises three PhD students and co-supervises two PhD students in plant pathology. 

Research Tutor 

Research tutor for Master by research and PhD students in Biological and Environmental sciences, answering enquiries for a research degree in Biological and Environmental sciences, process applications and monitoring progresses of research students during the period of their study.  

Commercial and public engagement

She has given poster and oral presentation at several international conferences, trained farmers and extension workers on recognition of important diseases on oilseed rape during the collaboration with China on Royal Society UK-China joint projects and the Defra SAIN project, demonstrated diseases on oilseed rape during agricultural industry events such as Cereals. With recent successful Innovate UK and Agri-Tech proposals, she works closely with industry partners, including distributors (e.g. Hutchinsons), breeding companies (e.g. KWS, LS Plant Breeding etc), agrochemical companies (e.g. DuPont) and farmers to develop strategies for sustainable management of oilseed rape diseases.