Ashley Tuffin
BSc (Hons) Genetics with Sandwich Year

Genetics student, Ashley Tuffin and a member of staff at The Morton Arboretum in Illinois study a variety of tree samples.

2018 Sandwich Placement Award nominee, Ashley Tuffin, has forged a new partnership between Edge Hill University’s Department of Biology and The Morton Arboretum in Illinois. As the first EHU Genetics student to undertake a placement at the 1,700 acre living museum, dedicated to the scientific study, conservation and advocacy of trees, Ashley impressed supervisors and enhanced the international reputation of the University.

So far Ashley has contributed to two major projects, leading the identification, collection, and drying of the approximately 110 North American species present in an experimental prairie on the biomass collection project. Working on the Quercus project, Ashley learnt and operated next-generation DNA sequencing protocols to generate genomic libraries from the leaves of 300 oak trees, whilst auditing a graduate-level phylogenetic statistics course. Ashley is building impressive lab, fieldwork and leadership skills, as well as network links that will contribute to their future studies and career.

“Ashley has assumed an extraordinary amount of responsibility that is executed with independence. They have had to not only learn their work but also train others to assist them in it. Ashley is a model student and has enabled us to do work that we absolutely would not have gotten done without their help.”

Dr Andrew Hipp
Senior Research Scientist, The Morton Arboretum