The 2Blades Group Blog


    Welcome to the 2Blades Group blog. Scroll down to find out more about life in our group at The Sainsbury Laboratory, from seminars and training courses to BBQs and birthday parties.

  • Christmas Jumper Day 2021

    As is now an annual tradition, members of 2Blades and TSL became “woolly wonders” and donned their Christmas jumpers for Christmas Jumper Day 2021 to raise money for Save The Children!

  • Norwich Science Festival

    2Blades group members Cynara Romero, Josie Maidment and Helen Brabham volunteered on The Sainsbury Laboratory’s stall at the 2021 Norwich Science Festival, sharing their passion for stopping plant pathogens with the public.

  • Happy Halloween!

    The 2Blades group got together for our annual pumpkin carving competition! Congratulations to Everton for the creepiest pumpkin, Lesley for the funniest pumpkin, Kelly for the most artistic pumpkin, and Shona and Yogesh’s family who tied for the prize for best overall pumpkin. And thank you Kelly for organising!

  • 2Blades scientists contribute to TSL MSc in Global Plant Health

    2Blades scientists Peter van Esse, Carolina Grandellis, Josie Maidment and Shona Strachan delivered two practical sessions on high-throughput screening and field skills for the first cohort of students on The Sainsbury Laboratory’s MSc in Global Plant Health.

  • A day at the seaside

    Beautiful weather for our team trip to the beach! Lots of fun and games and a great way to get to know our new team members Sam , Sreya and Everton . Many thanks to Sam and Helen for organising a lovely day!

  • Happy Birthday Peter!

    The 2Blades group gathered together to wish group leader Peter Van Esse a very happy birthday (and of course there was cake).

  • 2Blades group picnic!

    For the first time in over a year, the whole group were able to meet in person for a socially distanced outdoor picnic! Lovely to properly welcome Shona and Henry , who both started in the group during lockdown. And well done Peter for booking the sunshine!

  • New annotated Phakopsora pachyrhizi genomes released

    2Blades scientists have been part of an international consortium to annotate genome sequences from three Phakopsora pachyrhizi isolates. All three available now on Mycocosm!

  • Christmas Jumper Day 2020

    Members of 2Blades and TSL got festive for Christmas Jumper Day 2020 to raise money for Save The Children!

  • HALLOWEEN 2020

    A great virtual halloween with fright night hors-d’oeuvre “the Adams Family” followed by “Get Out” and pumpkin carving competition. Super-evening!

  • CHRISTMAS 2019

    A lovely time with the 2Blades at Christmas dinner in the Red Lion, followed by Christmas jumper day 2019!


    A great summer evening with the 2Blades. Big thanks to Carolina Grandellis and Kamil Witek for organizing an excellent pizza party with colleagues and family!

  • 2Blades-TSL masterclass

    A huge thanks to our speaker line up of this years masterclass (clockwise: Serial Entrepreneur Giacomo Bastianelli, Shital Dixit of Keygene, Gilad Gershon with Jack Peart of Tropic Biosciences and Clare Murray from AgBiome).

  • 2Blades line-up may 2019

    Our 2019 line up, with many new-comers.

  • Calcium—Nutrient and Messenger

    Check out Kathrin Thors latest review on Calcium signaling: Calcium—Nutrient and Messenger

  • Christmas season 2018

    Christmas season with christmas jumper day and christmas dinner at the Warwich Street Social.

  • 2Blades Retreat 2018

    Loads of fun, good weather, walks, poker, epic food and a visit to the Adnams brewery at the 2Blades retreat 2018

  • Nadine Ilk leaving due

    One of the founding members of the 2Blades group, Nadine Ilk is leaving to Ghent to have new adventures. Good luck Nadine.

  • 2Blades Masterclass

    Excited to start the 2Blades-TSL masterclass 2018, with participation and contributions of Rijk-Zwaan and ENZA zaden.

  • Goodbye to Andrew Legg

    Andrew has been a great student in the 2Blades group. We gathered to wish him loads of luck in the future and hope to see him again.

  • 2Blades Lab-Outing 2018

    A great lab-outing with a visit to Sandrinham, discovery of plant pathogens in the HM the queens garden and some R&R at Holkham beach

  • YouthSTEM Science Showcase

    Brian Rigney, together with TSL colleagues Marina Pais and Maria Derkacheva bringing TSL and 2Blades science to the YouthSTEM science showcase this March.

  • Visit of the 2Blades at BecA

    Great to visit BecA and 2Blades group leader Dieuwertje van der Does. Learned many things and honoured to give a talk in Nairobi.

  • 2Blades 2017 Christmas Jumper day

    2Blades@TSL & co fundraising for Save the Children this Christmas-jumper-day 2017. Nice to see the mini-blades joining in on the fun.

  • 2Blades 2017 Halloween

    Halloween night with the 2Blades group including traditional pumpkin soup and scary movie night. Some great costumes and scary food as well. The festive season has started!

  • 2Blades 2017 Retreat

    This years retreat at the Dengie natural reserve. We had a great time exploring the tidal mudflats and saltmarsh, finding nice rust fungi, and doing teambuilding exercises.

  • Ciao Riccardo

    Riccardo Soldan who has been a Pre-doc in the 2Blades group is leaving today to Italy. Riccardo will start his Ph.D. in Oxford this autumn.

  • 2Blades Summer BBQ

    Due to a lucky break in Norfolk weather conditions, we were able to organize an ad-hoc BBQ. Action pictures of viking-chess with the UEA ziggurats in the background.

  • 2Blades Lab-Outing

    Lab-outing with the 2Blades. We had a great day of boating, a picnic in the broads and got introductory lessons in viking-chess. Plus, we spotted some great rust infections.

  • Guarding the Granary

    Check out the special Guarding the Granery about emerging plant pathogens in The Biochemist

  • The 2Blades Group, May 2017

  • 2Blades group switches to ELNs

    The 2Blades group has left paper notebooks in the 20th century and has switched to electronic lab notebooks for documentation.

  • cake-tastic goodbye

    A cake-tastic goodbye for Katie Courville who has been a guest in the 2Blades group for six months and made loads of friends at TSL. The cakes provided by Katie herself, Janina and Jenna were delicious.

  • Christmas-jumper-day 2016

    2Blades Group Norwich & co fundraising for Save the Children this Christmas-jumper-day 2016.

  • 2016 christmas dinner

    2Blades Christmas dinner in the Unthank Arms, great time, great food and great company.

  • 2016 retreat

    2Blades Group retreat at Hunstanton. Great company, beautiful nature, good food. What’s not to like :-)

  • 2016 labouting

    Off-road Segway session at the 2Blades group 2016 lab-outing.

  • Triple stack

    Our manuscript made the cover of Nature Biotechnology this week with two other manuscripts from colleagues at TSL, UFV and the John Innes Centre

  • Going Bananas

    Sarah is really going Bananas! 

  • Afternoon tea

    “Keen to dispel that sinking feeling between breakfast and dinner, the Duchess asked for a tray of tea, bread and butter and cake to be brought to her room in the late afternoon.” 

  • Masterclass IP course

    Mike Ward explaining the finer points of Intellectual property rights with great energy and clear examples to the 2Blades-TSL masterclass.

  • Outreach: Norwich Spring Fling

    Sarah Schmidt helped out at the RSC stand at the Norwich Spring Fling, which is a fair for kids organized by the Royal Society for Agriculture. It was a huge success and the team won a price for best educational stand.

  • Start of the Masterclass

    2Blades-TSL Masterclass of to a great start with Stephanie Allen from ILM giving the participants the lowdown on effective communication strategies.

  • The gratuates

    Congratulations to our Halpin scholar Dr. Gupta and Dr. Dagdas from the Kamoun lab!! Nice to see Claire Halpin attended the ceremony.

  • Birthday cake time

    Great birthday treat from the 2Blades group!

  • 2015 Labouting

    2Blades group@the Eagle Pub Cambridge. Big thanks Schornacklab for the tour of TSL Cambridge and other epic locations.

  • Visit Giacomo Bastianelli at TSL

    “Principles for entrepreneurial success – How to judge if an idea for a business is worth pursuing”

    Great presentation and great discussions during dinner!

  • ASR in the field

    Asian Soybean Rust infection under field conditions, Paraná state, Brazil, 2015    

  • Outreach

    Following on from a successful visit in 2014, in February 2015 60 AS level students from Norwich School visited the Norwich Research Park over 2 day period. Great opportunity to talk about rust fungi!      

  • Christmas potluck

    2Blades Christmas dinner with dishes from the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Taiwan and India.


    Result of the networking sessions at the Informa Life Sciences’ Ag-Bio Congress in Berlin

  • Lab action

    Dr. Julie Ku in action

  • Wintherthur gardens

    Third face-2-face meeting between DuPont and 2Blades, lovely time in Wilmington and Winterthur Gardens.

  • Outreach: BSPP Plant doctors day

    On 13th June, BSPP Outreach headed to Hethersett VC Junior School in Norfolk to run a whole day of plant doctor activities. We hunted for plant pathogens in the school playing field, made models of plant pathogens, trained to become plant doctors and examined everything under microscopes. It was a great day! More pictures

  • Rust spotting

    Phragmidium spp. (pimpinellifoliae?) on rosaceae, nearby the Sainsbury centre for the visual arts. Beautifully spotted and captured by Ben Petre.

  • Graduated

    Awesome, congratulations Dr. Jupe!!!


    New Soyrust team members Nadine Ilk and Julietta Jupe in action!

  • Field Sampling

    On sampling mission in Brazil.