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- July 14, 2017
Always deeply curious about plants, Afroditi moved from rural Ilia in Peloponnesus to Thessaloniki to study Agriculture in 1998. After 5 years of studies, she obtained her degree in Agriculture from the School of Agriculture of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. During this time, she got fascinated by plant genetics, so she embarked for her post-graduate studies at the same university, obtaining first a MSc (2007) and then a PhD degree (2013) in Plant Genetics and Breeding. Her PhD work, under the supervision of prof Athanasios Tsaftaris, mainly involved the study of the molecular effect of plant grafting and rootstock-scion interactions on key fruit quality characters of the scion and more specifically on fruit shape in pepper. Her first postdoctoral employment was at the Institute of Applied Bioscieces (INAB) of CERTH (Thessaloniki, Greece) where she collaborated with Dr Anagnostis Argiriou in a project that included the analysis and exploitation of transcriptomic data for breeding Greek elite tomato varieties. After one year of post-doctoral work in Greece, she was awarded a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship by the European Commission to move to University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK) and work in the field of small RNAs with prof Tamas Dalmay. Her fellowship was about an Arabidopsis mutant screening to identify genes essential to microRNA degradation (turnover). Since December 2017, she is an independent researcher in Plant Breeding and Genomics, at the Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources, HAO (Thessaloniki, Greece).