Ehab Metwali

Current employer: Jeddah University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Current job title: Professor in Genetic and Genetic Engineering

Current location: Jeddah – Saudi Arabia

What is/was the title of your project?

Improving abiotic stress resistance in cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis L.) by mutagenesis and Agrobacterium mediated transformation.

Describe your research in one sentence.

The ultimate goal of this research is the improvement of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis L) to be tolerant of abiotic stress (hydroxyproline, salinity and freezing) via mutation and genetic transformation.

What was the most exciting element(s) of your project (e.g. fieldwork or conferences etc)?

The elements I found most exciting were fieldwork visits to research centres specializing in the field, as well as the scientific trips to France with a group of students, under the supervision of Professor Mick Fuller. That was a wonderful visit.

What was the most exciting outcome(s) of your project?

Success in cloning of resistance genes into plants as well as rule-breaking, which says that with the increase in stress conditions increase the amino acid proline.

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your research

Since completing my research, I have started working in one of the most important universities in Saudi Arabia. I also got a degree whilst working as an Assistant Professor (2007–2012). I finally got a professorship (2012–2016). I have also published more than 45 scientific research pieces.

Finally, I am now a scientific trainer in the field of biotechnology.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the same line of work?

Work hard, practice everything within your field and build strong relationships with other researchers within your field.

How did your time at the University of Plymouth help you?

I am still in contact with my supervisor Professor Mick Fuller whom I still collaborate on research projects with. I also got several training programmes during my time studying at the University of Plymouth that has helped me get to where I am today in my career.

Would you recommend undertaking research at the University of Plymouth, and why?

Yes. The University of Plymouth has excellent supervising professors such as Professor Mick Fuller, who deal with graduate students, particularly from foreign countries. All the staff are friendly and I can honestly say, during my time studying at the University of Plymouth, I felt a part of a family working together to achieve success.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?

Study hard, take advantage of all the possibilities the University has to offer and chose the suitable field of study, which can allow you to excel in your future career. Most of all enjoy your time at university!