Dr. Rachel Brenchley

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Dr. Rachel Brenchley

Contact Details

Peel Building - Room G37

Please email to arrange an appointment.

Current positions

Lecturer in Genomics and Bioinformatics


I have a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology from the University of Manchester. Following my degree I stayed at the University of Manchester to complete an MSc in Bioinformatics and then a PhD also in Bioinformatics. My PhD project involved working on computational methods to classify protein phosphatases and I applied these methods to define the phosphatase family in three protozoan parasite genomes.

During my PhD I became interested in genomics and I went on to work in this area for nearly five years at the University of Liverpool as a postdoctoral research associate. I joined the University of Salford as a Lecturer in 2014.


I teach on core modules as part of four undergraduate degree programmes and two Masters programmes. I am Module Leader for Level 4 Molecules to Microbes where I teach introductory biochemistry topics. At Level 5 I teach genomics and bioinformatics in the Clinical & Molecular Genetics and Molecular Genetics modules and also in the Level 7 Genomics module.

I teach plant genomics in Level 7 Green Biotechnology. I have small group tutorials for the Level 4 Study Skills and Level 5 Biological Research Skills and provide Level 6 research projects in bioinformatics sequence analysis. 

Research Interests

I am interested in studying how genomes evolve and how adaptive traits arise. My interest is particularly in how the genome sequences of related species differ at the whole-genome level, and I study the contribution of events, such as, whole-genome duplications, and gene family expansion/loss, to the emergence of phenotypic traits.

My research has mostly focused on plants but I am interested generally in genomic changes within eukaryotes and have also worked with insect, protozoan parasite, and nematode genomes. My expertise is with genome sequencing data and bioinformatics tools to assemble, annotate, and perform comparative genomics analyses between different species. 

Qualifications and Memberships


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), University of Salford, 2016.
  • PhD in Bioinformatics, University of Manchester, 2009.
  • MSc Bioinformatics, University of Manchester, 2005.
  • BSc (Hons) Molecular Biology, University of Manchester, 2004.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy