Dr Megan McDonald PhD

Dr Megan McDonald

School of Biosciences
Assistant Professor

Contact details

N113, School of Biosciences

Megan uses next-generation sequencing tools identify and characterise virulence genes from fungal pathogens of wheat and barley. To do this Megan has worked extensively with long-read de novo genome assembly, genome annotation and transposon annotation. Megan’s background is in population genetics of plant pathogens, studying their origins and global movement during her graduate studies. More recent interests include transposon mediated horizontal gene transfer and 3D chromosomal reconstruction techniques using sequencing data.


PhD Plant Pathology ETH Zürich


Dr. Megan McDonald completed her PhD in 2012 in the Phytopathology Group at the ETH Zürich in Switzerland. After completing her PhD she was awarded a Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship to take-up post-doctoral work in the genomics of plant pathogens at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. In Australia she was funded by wheat growers to continue her work on the genomics of fungal plant pathogens, looking specifically at genome plasticity and fungicide resistance. In 2020, Megan was awarded a Birmingham Fellowship to start her own research group at the University of Birmingham.

Postgraduate supervision

Any national/international students interested in learning more about postgraduate projects please feel free to email me directly.

You can also find available projects in the Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP).


Fungal plant pathogens, genomics, long-read sequencing, genome plasticity, horizontal gene transfer, horizontal transposon transfer

Other activities

Member of the British Society for Plant Pathology

Member of the American Society for Microbiology

Member of the Genetics Society of America