Nicola obtained her PhD in plant molecular biology studying recombination between viruses. In post-doctoral research at The John Innes Centre (Norwich) and The University of British Columbia (Vancouver), she applied her interest in the exchange of genetic material between distinct lineages by studying the impact on genome evolution and cellular metabolism of lateral gene transfer from the genomes of primary and secondary plastids. After a visiting fellowship at the University of Melbourne, (Australia), Nicola led a group at the AgriBio, the State of Victoria’s biotechnology and research centre, focusing on the development of technologies to allow targeted gene transfer to plant nuclear genomes. In May 2013, Nicola returned to the UK to head a new Synthetic Biology venture at The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich. In 2015 Nicola was awarded a SynBio LEAP fellowship.