Funding and Facilities
Our group’s research focuses on understanding and improving plants processes that determine plant productivity and plant responses to changing environmental conditions. We have an extensive network of national and international collaborations through projects funded by the BBSRC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EU, Leverhulme Trust, Perry Foundation and industry.
We have considerable expertise in the investigation of the growth and physiology of plants under both benign and stressful conditions in the laboratory and the field. This is underpinned by a considerable and continual investment in our specialised research facilities. Consequently, we have state-of-the art equipment for our research, including bespoke instrumentation and software designed and built in-house.
Our facilities include a plant phenotyping platform that houses a novel dynamic lighting system, combined thermal and chlorophyll fluorescence as well as whole plant gas exchange chambers.
Working with business
We are united around understanding the physiological and genetic basis of crop yield. Collectively we have a great deal of knowledge and experience in Plant Science, which extends to understanding how technology fits into the development of more environmentally sustainable production systems.
We offer many ways for you to access our expertise (.pdf), including consultancy, collaborative and commissioned research and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
These are some of the current and recently completed projects and programmes which are collaborative with and sponsored by industry:
- Forestry research - Forestry Commission (Forest Research)
- Crop improvement - Bayer Ltd
- LED lighting technologies - TAS valley mushrooms
- Technology development - ADC Ltd
- Gene technology - Syngenta Ltd
Example case for SMEs
The EU funded project ABSTRESS is identifying genes that control responses to combined drought stress and Fusarium oxysporum infection in legumes. This involves working with our partner SMEs to fast track genes discovered in a model legume, Medicago truncatula, to field testing of mutated gene orthologs in non-GM peas and be candidates to enter EU-wide breeding programmes. Our partner SMEs are GenXPro (Germany), PGRO (UK), Arterra Bioscience (Italy), AgroVegetal (Spain), AgriTec (Czech Republic) and BTG (Italy).
We have a vibrant postgraduate community, and are always keen to recruit new postgraduate research students (both PhD and Master of Science by Dissertation). Throughout the year we may have funded opportunities, such as PhD projects funded by NERC ARIES Doctoral Training Partnership.
Please feel free to contact individual group members if you are interested in postgraduate research. Many of our academics maintain lists of project titles that they are happy to supervise on, and may be able to help you narrow down your choice in what to research.