Academic Staff

Dr Matt Jones PhD FHEA

Position in departmentGraduate Forum Organizer
Staff positionLecturer
Telephone01206 874740

2015- present: Lecturer, University of Essex 

2012- 2015: Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Essex

2008-2012: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harmer Lab, UC Davis

2004-2008: PhD (Molecular and Cellular Biology), University of Glasgow

2001-2004: BA (Hons), The Queen's College, University of Oxford


 PhD (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)

FHEA (Fellow of Higher Education Academy)

BA (Hons) Biological Sciences

Current research

We live in a changing world, with climate change and a rapidly increasing human population acting as synergistic pressures that challenge our ability to provide an adequate food supply. Arable crops experience a variety of stresses during their life cycles that if uncorrected lead to reduced yields. Many of these abiotic stresses are most likely to occur during certain periods of day. For example, heat stress is typically experienced during the mid-afternoon whereas frost damage is associated with cooling that occurs overnight. Plants have evolved several strategies to mitigate these effects including the coupling of stress responses to the circadian clock. This molecular oscillator provides an internal timing reference that also coordinates developmental and physiological processes such as growth, chlorophyll synthesis and flowering time in plants. The coordination of these molecular and physiological processes with the external environment confers an adaptive advantage in higher plants.

My lab investigates how light signals from the environment and the circadian clock interact with the ultimate goal of minimizing crop loss in adverse conditions. 

Current Group Members:

Miss Suzanne Litthauer (PhD student) 

Mr Martin Battle (PhD student)

Mr Jim Stevens (PhD student)

Kat Malpas (University of Essex Frontrunner)

Sareeta Bagri (University of Essex Frontrunner)

Research interests

 abiotic stress


high light





Teaching responsibilities








Link to Google Scholar

Papers available through the University of Essex repository are listed here:

publications should appear here



March 2015

Invited Speaker: “Environmental and metabolic control of plant growth and development”, Brazil

September 2014


Session Chair: “Genetic Improvement To Reduce Photooxidative Stress In Rice”, Thailand.

June 2014


Invited Speaker: “Coping With a Rhythmic Environment: The Interplay Between Circadian Clocks, Metabolic State and Environmental Stress” Manchester

July 2013


Invited Speaker: SFB924 Summer Retreat (DFG, Munich, Germany)

July 2012


Invited Speaker: “Post-Transcriptional Regulation”, ASPB, USA

September 2011


Invited Speaker: “Dynamic biology - New Levels and New Dimensions of Regulation”, Cambridge

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