Dr Helen Hipperson

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

p3 Research and Development Fellow



  • 2018 - Research Fellow, P3 Plant Production and Protection
  • 2015-2018 - Data Analyst, NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility-Sheffield,
  • 2010–2014 - Post-doctoral Research Associate, Imperial College London
  • 2009–2010 - Associate Project Manager, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • 2005–2008 - PhD, Dept of Animal & Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield
Research interests

I am a molecular ecologist with a general interest in using molecular techniques to answer questions in ecology, evolution and conservation. My previous research focused on the genetic basis of adaptation to a novel environment and the evolution of reproductive isolation in the context of speciation in the Howea palms of Lord Howe Island. Prior to this, my PhD research examined the effectiveness of the UK protected area network in conserving genetic variation within species, and the application of population genetic tools to inform conservation management. 


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Professional activities

NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF-S)

My role as the NBAF-S Data Analyst involved providing training and supporting visitors while they process data and perform analyses involving metabarcoding approaches for assessing bacterial communities and vertebrate diet composition and projects that use of environmental DNA samples, such as water or soil,  for monitoring biodiversity.

I coordinated and contributed to a yearly 3-day computer based workshop that provides an introduction to Population Genomics.

I also supported other projects as required. I have experience in analysing large molecular marker data sets, such as from AFLPs, microsatellites and SNPs, to infer population genetics statistics and structure, identify hybrids or determine relatedness. I am also experienced in analysing data from next-generation sequencing projects on both genomics and transcriptomics, from quality control, de novo assembly, mapping, SNP calling and genotyping-by-sequencing to more downstream analyses of annotation, determining differential gene expression and detecting loci with evidence of being under selection.