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Dr Hail Rihan

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


Post Doctoral Research Fellow  


Plymouth University

(1st May 2013)


 Plymouth University

2010 - 2013.

PhD  in Plant tissue culture, seed production and molecular biology


I have completed successfully number of taught modules within my degree programme as follows:

·         Techniques in Botanical Conservation (10 credits)

·         Plant Taxonomy and Identification (10 credits)

·         Postgraduate Research Skills and Methods (20 credits)


Plymouth University


Preparation to Teach modules: GTA (General teaching associate) (certificate) and LTHE300 (certificate+20 credits)).


University of Damascus


 BSc in Agriculture Engineering with an overall mean of 83.44 % (No 1 in over 600 students graduated from all faculties of agriculture in Syria 2007)


University of Asyut


I completed two courses:

1. Experience certificate in Horticulture Practical techniques.

2. Experience certificate in Molecular Biology and genetic engineering.

Professional membership

1.      Higher Education Academy (HEA) /UK (from2010).

2.      Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) (from2009).

3.      International Society for Horticulture Science (ISHS)(from 2011).

4.      Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) (from2010).

5.      Postgraduate society/University of Plymouth/ (from2010)/acted Chairman of the Society for the year 2012.

6.      Plymouth University graduate committee (2012).

7.      School of Biomedical and Biological SciencesResearch Committee.

8.      School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences SafetyCommittee.

Teaching interests

Plymouth University




Plymouth University



 Plymouth University



Currently working as associate lecturer in the School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences/Faculty of Science and Technology. I am responsible for designing, delivering and assessing 150 students in Module Bio 005 Extended Science


I worked as a Demonstrator, which required the supervision of undergraduates’ practical classes. I have been personally responsible for up to fifty students at a time.

 I worked as an invigilator from which I obtained an experience in terms of running and organising exams.


University of Damascus 2008-2009

I worked as a Teaching Assistant, teaching practical parts of several modules (Plant Genetic Improvement and Plant Protected Culture modules). The experience I gained, included:

Lecturing: delivering lectures, leading field work and tutorials.

Assessment: I ran exams and assessed students work.

Administration: I worked in the administration office and helped organised graduate ceremonies in the faculty of agriculture at University of Damascus.


Arab Centre for Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) 2007-2008

I worked as an expert in fruit trees production. As part of my dutioes in the centre I delivered lectures in the courses which the Arabic centre run for agricultural engineers around Middle Eastern Countries. I also delivered talks on open days, which the Arabic Centre arranged regularly.

Research interests

Ø  I processed research on the breeding of wheat, using biomoleculartechniques in order to improve its resistance to abiotic stresses (drought,cold and salinity). I also conducted research on ornamental plant tissueculture.

Ø  Recently, I have been conducting research on the developmentof the commercial use of new generation LED technologies for intensivehydroponic culture production of high value crops (Plant factory).

Ø  I was the winner of the Vice Chancellor award for the EarlyCareer Researcher in the Expert Category for 2012 at Plymouth University. 

Other research

Ø  My BSc/University of Damascus/Graduate Projectinvestigated the ability of improvements to the germination of Pistaciaatlantica as drought tolerant stock of Pistaciavulgaris using various types of Plant Growth Regulators.

Ø   I haveexperience in research at the Arabic Centre for the Study of Arid Zones and DryLands, League of Arab States. The research focused on the breeding of olives inorder to obtain drought tolerant varieties suitable for cultivation in poorquality land.

Ø  My PhD project consisted of two main areas. The firstwas to develop micro-propagation techniques for cauliflower artificial seedproduction, and the second part focused on the instigation of the molecularmechanism of plant abiotic stress tolerance (e.g. monitoring gene expressionprofiles/ patterns and gene regulatory networks for understanding geneticcontrol for crop improvement). 

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

I have supervised a number ofundergraduate students with their Honours Projects at both Damascus andPlymouth Universities. I have also co-supervised 2 visiting PostdoctoralFellows from Egypt and Iraq at Plymouth University.

I also supervised PhD student atPlymouth University/UK. Her thesis was under the title of “The influence ofexogenously applied “anti-stress” agents in the upregulation of the droughtresponse in Iraqi wheat varieties “. She defended her thesis successfully.

I am currently supervising a ResMstudent. He is investigating the effect of Supplementary LED lighting toimprove the growth and quality of pharmaceutical plant species.

Grants & contracts

1.   I was successful in obtaining a travel grant fromBiosciences KTN (Knowledge Transfer Manager) to present my research in the BiosciencesKTN Early Career Researchers Event on the 23rd May, 2013 in London.

2.      I was successful in obtaining a travel grant fromcompany of biologists via the society of experimental biology in order topresent my research in the VIII International Symposium on In VitroCulture & Horticulture Breeding - Portugal June 2013.
3.      I was the winner of the Early Career ResearcherAward in the Expert category in the Vice-Chancellor’s Enterprise Awards 2012 atPlymouth University.
4.      I was rewarded as the winner of the best oralpresentation in the postgraduate conference at the University of Plymouth 2011.
5.      I was successful in obtaining a travel grant fromPlymouth award scheme to present my research in the (Researchs-Teachers-Learners,We are all in this together) international symposium, 2011.
6.      I was successful in obtaining a travel grant fromthe society of experimental biology to present my research in the societyannual meeting in Glasgow, 2011, UK.


1.     Kareem F, Rihan HZ & Fuller MP. 2018.  The effect of Salicylic acid on the inductionof the drought response regulon in wheat. Journal of Crop Science andBiotechnology. Under review.

2.     Abdullah H A , Rihan H Z.  2018. The Relationship between YieldParameters and Morphological Characters for Barley: Evaluating linear andNon-linear models. Agri Res & Tech: Open Access J. 14(1): 555907.DOI: 10.19080/ARTOAJ.2018.14.555907

3.     Al Shamari , M., Rihan H Z, Fuller MP. 2018. Aneffective protocol for the production of primary and secondary somatic embryosin cauliflower (Brassica oleraceae var. botrytis). Agri Res& Tech: Open Access J. 14(1): 555908. DOI:10.19080/ARTOAJ.2018. 14.555908

4.     Mahmood BJ, Rihan H Z, Foulkes ME, Burchett S. TheEffect of Drought on Phytochemical active Compounds Content in Chamomile andYarrow. 2017. Agri Res & Tech: Open Access J. 12(4): 555855. DOI:10.19080/ARTOAJ.2017.12.555855.

5.     Rihan H Z, Al-Issawi M, El Mahrouk M, Fuller MP. 2017.Artificial Seeds (Principle, Aspects and Applications). Agronomy, 7(4),p.71.

6.     Kareem F.,  RihanH. Z and Fuller M. 2017. The Effect of Exogenous Applications of Salicylic Acidand Molybdenum on the Tolerance of Drought in Wheat. Agri Res & Tech: OpenAccess J.; 9(4): 555768. DOI: 10.19080/ARTOAJ.2017.09.5557

7.      Rihan, H.Z.,Al-Issawi, M. and Fuller, M.P., 2017. Upregulation of CBF/DREB1 and coldtolerance in artificial seeds of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var.botrytis). Scientia Horticulturae, 225, pp.299-309.

8.     Rihan H Z, Al-Issawi M, Fuller M. 2017. An analysis ofthe development of cauliflower seed as a model to improve the molecularmechanism of abiotic stress tolerance in cauliflower artificial seeds. PlantPhysiology and Biochemistry, 116, 91-105.

9.     Rihan, H.Z., Al-Issawi, M. and Fuller, M.P., 2017.Advances in physiological and molecular aspects of plant cold tolerance. Journalof Plant Interactions, 12(1), pp.143-157.

10.  El Mahrouk,M., Dewir, Y. H., Murthy, H. N., Rihan, H. Z., Al-Shmgani, H. S. & Fuller,M. P. 2016. Effect of photosynthetic photon flux density on growth,photosynthetic competence and antioxidant enzymes activity during ex vitroacclimatization of Dieffenbachia cultivars. Plant Growth Regulation, 79,29-37.

11.  Al-Issawi M,Rihan H Z., Al-Shmgani, H. & Fuller, M. P. 2015a. Molybdenum applicationenhances antioxidant enzyme activity and COR15a protein expression under coldstress in wheat. Journal of Plant Interactions, 1-22.

12.  Al-Issawi, M.,Rihan, H. Z., Mahdi, U. H. & Fuller, M. P. 2015b. Frost Hardiness of IraqiWheat genotypes. Diyalal Agricultural Sciences Journal, 7.

13.  Dewir, Y., ElMahrouk, M., Hafez, Y., Rihan, H. Z. & Saez, C. 2015a. Antioxidativecapacity and electrolyte leakage in healthy versus phytoplasma infected tissuesof Euphorbia coerulescens and Orbea gigantea. J Plant Physiol Pathol 3,1, 2.

14.  Dewior, Y. H.,El Mahrouk, M. E.-S., Al-Shmgani, H. S., Rihan, H. Z., Teixeira Da Silva, J. A.& Fuller, M. P. 2015b. Photosynthetic and biochemical characterization of invitro-derived African violet (Saintpaulia ionantha H. Wendl) plants in exvitro conditions. Journal of Plant Interactions, 10, 101-108.

15.  Rihan H Z,Al-Issawi M, Al Shamari M, Woldie W, Kiernan M, Fuller M. 2014. The effect ofmolybdenum on the molecular control of cold tolerance in cauliflower (Brassicaoleracea var. botrytis) artificial seeds. Plant Cell Tissue Organ Culture(PCTOC):1-14. doi:10.1007/s11240-014-0475-7.

16.  Al-Issawi, M.Rihan, H. Z. El-Sarkassy, N & Fuller, M. P. 2013. Frost HardinessExpression and Characterisation in Wheat at Ear Emergence. Journal ofAgronomy and Crop Science, 199, 66-74.

17.  Al-Issawi, M. Rihan,H. Z. Woldie, W. A., Burchett, S & Fuller, M. P. 2013. Exogenousapplication of molybdenum affects the expression of CBF14 and thedevelopment of frost tolerance in wheat. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry,63, 77-81.

18.  Rihan, H. Z.Al-Shamari, M. Al-Swedi, F. Burchett, S & Fuller, M. P. 2013. The effect ofsugar type, source and concentration on Brassica oleraceae var botrytismicroproshoot production. Acta Horticulturae, in press.

19.  Al-Swedi, F.Rihan, H. Z. Al Shamar, M. Lane, S & Fuller, M. P. 2013. Genetictransformation of cauliflower with Ascorbate Peroxidase (APX) gene. Acta Horticulturae,in press.

20.  Rihan, H.Z,  Al-Issawi, M. Al-Shamari, M &Fuller, M. P. 2013. Plant abiotic stress tolerance analysis in cauliflowerusing a curd micropropagation system. Acta Horticulturae, 1083, 43-52.

21.  Al Shamari, M.Rihan, H. Z. Al-Swedi, F & Fuller, M. P. 2012. The use of somaticembryogenesis in artificial seed production in cauliflower (Brassicaoleracea var. botrytis). Acta Horticulturae, 1099, 399-406.

22.  Rihan, H. Z.Al-Issawi, M. Al-Swedi, F & Fuller, M. P. 2012. The effect of using PPM(plant preservative mixture) on the development of cauliflower microshoots andthe quality of artificial seed produced. Scientia Horticulturae, 141,47-52. (Article reviewed and featured in Agricell Reports). (Articleselected and featured on Earth Emphasis website) (

23.  Fuller, M. P.Hamza, J. H. Rihan, H. Z & Al-Issawi, M. 2012. Germination of Primed Seedunder NaCl Stress in Wheat. ISRN Botany, 2012, 5.

24.  Al-swedi, F.,Al Shamari M., Rihan, H.Z,. S, Lane and Fuller M.P. 2012. Micropropagation andgenetic transformation in Brassica olereacea var botrytis. 12th Congress of theEuropean Society for Agronomy, Helsinki, Finland, 20-24 August 2012. P:252-253.

25.  Al Shamari M.,Rihan, H.Z,.  Al-swedi, F., S, Lane andFuller M.P. 2012.Regeneration of cauliflower (Brassica olereacea var botrytis)via somatic embryogenesis. 12th Congress of the European Society for Agronomy,Helsinki, Finland, 20-24 August. P: 482-483.

26.  Rihan, H. Z.Al-Issawi, M. Burchett, S & Fuller, M. P. 2011. Encapsulation ofcauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) microshoots as artificial seedsand their conversion and growth in commercial substrates. Plant Cell, Tissueand Organ Culture (PCTOC), 107, 243-250. (This article was reviewed andfeatured in Agricell Reports Vol 57 no 5. This international review newsletterselects the most noteworthy publications in the field of plant biotechnologyeach month).

27.  Rihan, H. Z.Al Shamari, M & Fuller, M. P. 2011. The production of cauliflower microshootsusing curd meristematic tissues and hypocotyl-derived callus. ActaHorticulturae. 961, 427-434.

28.  Rihan, H. Z.Al-Issawi, M. Burchett, S & Fuller, M. P. 2011. Artificial seed productionfrom encapsulated microshoots of cauliflower (Brassica oleraceae var botrytis).Acta Horticulturae, 961, 419-425.

  Conference papers:

1.     Rihan, H.Z,. An effective system for a better understanding of plant cold tolerance.2015. International Conference on Synthetic Biology September 28-29, Houston,USA.

2.     Rihan, H.Z.,Al-Issawi, M., Al Shamari, M and Fuller M.P. 2014. Plant Abiotic StressTolerance Analysis in Cauliflower Using a Curd Micropropagation System. 15 May.UK Brassica Research Community Annual Meeting, Warwick Universities. UnitedKingdom. Pp: 10.

3.     Rihan, H.Z.,Al-Issawi, M., Nisr, R and Fuller M.P. 2014. Cold tolerance analysis ofcauliflower (Brassica oleraceae var botrytis) using an effectivemicropropagation system. SEB annual meeting, 1-5 July, Manchester University.  United Kingdom, pp: 131.

4.     Rihan, H.Z.,Al-Issawi, M., Al Shamari, Al-Swedi, F and Fuller M.P. 2013. Plant abioticstress tolerance “Mystery unresolved” The CARS (Centre for Agricultural andRural Sustainability) Annual Conference, Duchy College-Wednesday 19th June.

5.     Rihan, H.Z.,Al-Issawi, M., Al Shamari and Fuller M.P. 2013. Plant abiotic stress toleranceanalysis in cauliflower using a curd micropropagation system. VIIIInternational Symposium on In Vitro Culture & Horticulture Breeding –Portugal, 2-5 June. (I was successful in obtaining a travel grant from Companyof Biologists via the Society of Experimental Biology in order topresent my research in this meeting)

6.     Rihan, H.Z.,Al-Issawi, M., Al Shamari and Fuller M.P. 2013. The effect of molybdenum on artificialseed production, cold tolerance and up-regulation of CBF/DREB1 of Brassicaoleraceae var. botrytis. The Biosciences KTN Early Career Researchers Eventon the 23rd May in London, UK. (I was successful in obtaining atravel grant from Biosciences KTN (Knowledge Transfer Manager) to present my research in this meeting)

7.     Rihan, H.Z.,Al-Issawi, M., Al Shamari., Burchett, S and Fuller M.P.  2012. Cold tolerance and CBF/DREB1up-regulation of both cauliflower mature plants and microshoots. Centre forAgriculture and Rural Sustainability Postgraduate Symposium. The NewContinental Hotel, Plymouth, UK.

8.     Al Shamari M.,Rihan, H.Z,. Al-Swedi, F and Fuller, Fuller M.P. 2012. Primary and secondary somaticembryos in cauliflower (Brassica oleraceae var. botrytis). Centrefor Agriculture and Rural Sustainability Postgraduate Symposium. The NewContinental Hotel, Plymouth, UK.

9.     Al-Issawi, M., Rihan, H.Z,. Fadhel, F,. Burchett,S and Fuller M.P. 2012. The effect of Molybdenum on frost tolerance to wheatgenotypes. The Postgraduate Society annual conference, June 26. PlymouthUniversity. 2.15.

10.  Al-swedi, F., Rihan, H.Z,. Al Shamari M., S, Lane and FullerM.P. 2012. Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea) transformed by using agrobacteriumtumefaciens as a vector. The postgraduate society annual conference, June 26.Plymouth University. 2.6, 24.

11.  Rihan, H.Z., Al-Issawi, M., Al Shamari.,Burchett, S and Fuller M.P. 2012. Cold tolerance and CBF/DREB1up-regulation in Brassica oleracea var. botrytis. Plant andmicrobe adaptation to cold 2012. Hokkaido University, Japan, June 24-28. P-7,60.

12.  Al-Issawi, M.,Rihan, H.Z,. Burchett, S and Fuller M.P. 2012. The expression of CBFand physiological effect of frost to wheat during ear emergence. Plant andmicrobe adaptation to cold 2012. Hokkaido University, Japan, June 24-28,.O19,31.

13.  Rihan, H.Z and Al-swedi, F. 2012. Theteaching of biology in Syria. (Researches-Teachers-Learners, “We are all inthis together”) international symposium. London, 27th – 29thMarch. EPA1, 22. (I was successful in obtaining a travel grant from a PlymouthUniversity award scheme to present my research at this meeting).

14.  Al-swedi, Fand Rihan, H.Z. 2012. Formative assessment in higher education towardstheory and enhancement of practice. (Researchers-Teachers-Learners, “We are allin this together”) international symposium. London, 27th – 29thMarch. EPA1, 30.

15.  Rihan, H.Z,.Al-Issawi, M., Al-swedi, F, and Fuller, M. 2011. The improvement of cauliflower artificialseed cold tolerance. Plant EnvironmentalPhysiology Group – First Annual Mini-Symposium 20th December, Darwin House,London (I was successful in obtaining a travel grant to present my research atthis meeting).

16. Al-Issawi, M,. Rihan,H.Z,. Al-swedi, F, and Fuller, M . 2011. CBF expression in wheat atear emergence stages Plant Environmental Physiology Group – First AnnualMini-Symposium 20th December, Darwin House, London.

17. Al-swedi, F., Rihan, H.Z., Al-Issawi, M., Al-Shamari, M and Fuller, M. 2011. Agrobacterium-mediatedtransformation of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis):optimizationof protocol and development of transgenic cauliflower. PlantEnvironmental Physiology Group – First Annual Mini-Symposium 20th December,Darwin House, London (poster presentation).

18. Rihan, H.Z,.Al-Issawi, M., Al-swedi,F, and Fuller, M. 2011. An easy way to understand themechanism of cold tolerance gene function in plants. University of Plymouthpostgraduate conference 23th November, house stone theatre, Portland squarebuilding.

19. Al-swedi, F., Rihan,H.Z., Al-Issawi, M. and   Fuller, M.2011.  A micro propagation techniquefor cauliflower (Brassica oleraceae var.botrytis) tofacilitate Agrobacterium transformation.University of Plymouth postgraduate conference, 23th November, ((housestone theatre?)), Portland Square building.

20.  Al-Issawi ,M., Rihan,H.Z., Fuller, M.,P. and Al-Shamari, M. 2011. Cross-protection of wheat to abiotic stress.BioResources young researcher meeting at the University of Reading (8thJuly).

21.  Al-Shamari, M., Rihan, H.Z., And Fuller, M., P.2011. The control ofhyperhydration on cauliflower shoots produced in liquid media. BioResourcesYoung Researchers meeting at the University of Reading (8th July).

22.  Rihan, H.Z., Fuller, M,P., Al-Issawi, M., and Al-Shamari, M. 2011. The mass production of cauliflowermicroshoots for the production of artificial seeds and the optimization ofartificial seed capsule structure. BioResources Young Researchers meeting atthe University of Reading (8th July).

23.  Rihan, H.Z,. Al-Issawi, M., Al Shamari, M,and Fuller, M. 2011.Cauliflower artificial seeds coldstorage. University ofPlymouth postgraduate conference 29th June, housestone theatre,Portland Square Building.

24.  Rihan, H.Z., Al-Issawi, M., Fuller, P. M. andBurchett, S. 2011. The determination of the optimal cauliflower microshootdevelopment stage suitable for capsulation as artificial seeds and theoptimization of conversion using semi-solid media and commercial substrates.Society of Experimental Biology annual main meeting, Glasgow, 1-4 July, UK,P1.25, 187. (I was successful in obtaining a travel grant from the Societyof Experimental Biology to present my research at this meeting).

25.  Rihan, H.Z., Fuller P, M., Al-Issawi, M., andBurchett, S. 2011. Cloning of cauliflower (Brassica oleraceae var. botrytis)and the production of artificial seeds as a promising cost-effectivealternative to conventional methods of seed production. University of Plymouthpostgraduate conference. (I was deemed to be the winner of the best oralpresentation at the conference).

26.  Rihan, H.Z., 2010. The production thepreservation of cauliflower artificial seeds. The University of Plymouth- Plantphysiology symposium 9th March.

27.  Rihan, H.Z., Fuller, P. M. and Burchett, S.2010. Cauliflower micropropagation and artificial seed production. Society of ExperimentalBiology annual main meeting, Czech Republic, Prague, C 5.18, 247.

28.  Rihan, H.Z. 2008. Drought tolerant olivevarieties in the gene bank of Gelen Research Centre. Arabic Centre for Studies ofArid Zones and Dry Lands 7th September (Acsad).

29.  The annualmeeting and conference of the UK CEUG (controlled environmental user‘s group)(2009) (observer).

Additional information

1.      Leadership skills:

·         I worked as a resident assistant in Mary Newman hallof residence at the University of Plymouth 2011-2012. I am currently working asa Warden of Mary Newman Hall of residence. My work as a Warden includesleading a team of resident assistants, organising weekly meetings, and themanagement of a Hall that has about 180 students ensuringthat they are safe, comfortable and having the suitable environment thatuniversity students require for achieving their goals.

·         I acted as a Chair of the Postgraduate Societyat the University of Plymouth for 2012-2013. As part of the Chair responsibilitiesI had to lead and chair the Society Committee meetings and duties whichconsisted of 10 members. Under my leadership the society organised threeconferences  and three trips and othervarious social activities for Postgraduate students at the university.

2.      I havecompleted the Student Associates Scheme (SAS) and I havecompleted a teaching placement in Tavistock School, Devon.

3.      I am a holder of the Vice Chancellors EnterpriseAward at the University of Plymouth in the category of ExpertResearch Student. The Plymouth Award is designed to recogniseand celebrate student achievements outside the curriculum

4.      I have completed an internship for three days at ElsomsSeeds Ltd, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 1QG, United Kingdom January 24th-26th. 2012. The workshop included training about the practicalskills in seed production techniques.