skip to content

Sainsbury Laboratory

My Role within SLCU

I am the main point of day-to-day contact for all 10 research teams, around 120 scientists, within the Institute. My duties include daily organising, stocking and maintaining of the research facilities, liaising with stores and maintenance staff, purchasing, safe chemical waste disposal and the operation of Plant Growth Cabinets in concordance with booked requests. I attend and contribute to technician meetings, health and safety meetings and facilities meetings. I provide cover and assistance in glass washing and media preparation when required. I also mentor our apprentice technician.

The Sainsbury Laboratory has steadily grown in staff since it opened 10 years ago and research facilities increased and evolved with incoming research interests. I am implementing changes in accordance with this development to facilitate the smooth running of the Institute today.

I enjoy attending Institute seminars to keep up-to-date with the research at the Sainsbury Laboratory and its collaborators.


I have a BSc in genetics from Leeds University and a PhD in plant genetics from Ottoline Leyser’s laboratory when based at the University of York. I went on to do eight years of post-doctoral research, two at UC-Davis California USA with Judy Callis and six at Rothamsted Research Harpenden UK with Angela Karp in collaborations with Sally Ward and Ottoline Leyser.

I am enthused by discussion about discoveries in plant science and where they may lead but even when writing up my PhD I realised leading a research group was unlikely to suit me. To find a vocation I was more suited to I acquired new skills and sought a career path that would lead to a more service orientated role, I re-trained as a garden designer. Until this point I had studied plants at the molecular level and wanted to combine my passion for plants with my love of gardening so I studied Garden Design for three years at Capel Manor, Enfield whilst fulfilling my post-doctoral responsibilities at Rothamsted Research.

On qualifying as a garden designer I left PAYE employment into the world of business ownership, clients and self-reliance to run my own successful garden design and development business until, as a family, we moved to Saffron Walden. With my children, husband and parents all happily relocated I initially returned to science as a secondary school Technician at Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport before finding this role at SLCU where I can draw on my diverse skill set and support the progress of plant science research.

Chief Laboratory Technician
Dr Jemma  Salmon

Contact Details

Sainsbury Laboratory
University of Cambridge
47 Bateman Street, Cambridge CB2 1LR
United Kingdom