Dr Amanda Cavanagh

Senior Lecturer
School of Life Sciences
Dr Amanda Cavanagh

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Biochemical limitations of photosynthesis

Open to supervise

Regulation of photorespiration and photosynthesis during abiotic stress

Open to supervise

Natural Variation in Carbon Assimilation

Open to supervise

Improving photosynthesis to increase yield

Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Introduction to Global Sustainability Challenges (BS106)

  • Plant Biology and Ecosystems (BS111)

  • Transferable Skills in Life Sciences (BS143)

  • Employability Skills for the Biosciences (BS211)

  • Plant Molecular Physiology and Genetics (BS234)

  • Addressing Global Sustainability Challenges (BS259)

  • Plant Biotechnology (BS323)

  • Research Project in Life Sciences (BS832)

  • Research Project: MSc Biotechnology (BS984)

Previous supervision

Teddy Gaskin
Teddy Gaskin
Thesis title: Surveying the C3-C4 Landscape for Positive Selection in the Calvin Benson Cycle Enzyme Sbpase
Degree subject: Biological Sciences
Degree type: Master of Science (by Dissertation)
Awarded date: 1/5/2024


Journal articles (21)

Raines, CA. and Cavanagh, AP., (2024). The Calvin Benson Bassham cycle. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology. 155 (Pt A), 1-2

Busch, FA., Ainsworth, EA., Amtmann, A., Cavanagh, AP., Driever, SM., Ferguson, JN., Kromdijk, J., Lawson, T., Leakey, ADB., Matthews, JSA., Meacham‐Hensold, K., Vath, RL., Vialet‐Chabrand, S., Walker, BJ. and Papanatsiou, M., (2024). A guide to photosynthetic gas exchange measurements: Fundamental principles, best practice and potential pitfalls. Plant, Cell & Environment

Cavanagh, AP., Slattery, R. and Kubien, DS., (2023). Temperature induced changes in Arabidopsis Rubisco activity and isoform expression. Journal of Experimental Botany. 74 (2), 651-663

Cavanagh, AP. and Ort, DR., (2023). Transgenic strategies to improve the thermotolerance of photosynthesis.. Photosynthesis Research. 158 (2), 109-120

Cavanagh, AP., South, PF., Bernacchi, CJ. and Ort, DR., (2022). Alternative pathway to photorespiration protects growth and productivity at elevated temperatures in a model crop.. Plant Biotechnology Journal. 20 (4), 711-721

Harvey, CM., Cavanagh, AP., Kim, SY., Wright, DA., Edquilang, RG., Shreeves, KS., Perdomo, JA., Spalding, MH., Ort, DR., Bernacchi, CJ. and Huber, SC., (2022). Removal of redox-sensitive Rubisco Activase does not alter Rubisco regulation in soybean. Photosynthesis Research. 154 (2), 169-182

Ely, KS., Rogers, A., Agarwal, DA., Ainsworth, EA., Albert, LP., Ali, A., Anderson, J., Aspinwall, MJ., Bellasio, C., Bernacchi, C., Bonnage, S., Buckley, TN., Bunce, J., Burnett, AC., Busch, FA., Cavanagh, A., Cernusak, LA., Crystal-Ornelas, R., Damerow, J., Davidson, KJ., De Kauwe, MG., Dietze, MC., Domingues, TF., Dusenge, ME., Ellsworth, DS., Evans, JR., Gauthier, PPG., Gimenez, BO., Gordon, EP., Gough, CM., Halbritter, AH., Hanson, DT., Heskel, M., Hogan, JA., Hupp, JR., Jardine, K., Kattge, J., Keenan, T., Kromdijk, J., Kumarathunge, DP., Lamour, J., Leakey, ADB., LeBauer, DS., Li, Q., Lundgren, MR., McDowell, N., Meacham-Hensold, K., Medlyn, BE., Moore, DJP., Negrón-Juárez, R., Niinemets, Ü., Osborne, CP., Pivovaroff, AL., Poorter, H., Reed, SC., Ryu, Y., Sanz-Saez, A., Schmiege, SC., Serbin, SP., Sharkey, TD., Slot, M., Smith, NG., Sonawane, BV., South, PF., Souza, DC., Stinziano, JR., Stuart-Haëntjens, E., Taylor, SH., Tejera, MD., Uddling, J., Vandvik, V., Varadharajan, C., Walker, AP., Walker, BJ., Warren, JM., Way, DA., Wolfe, BT., Wu, J., Wullschleger, SD., Xu, C., Yan, Z. and Yang, D., (2021). A reporting format for leaf-level gas exchange data and metadata. Ecological Informatics. 61, 101232-101232

Moore, CE., Meacham-Hensold, K., Lemonnier, P., Slattery, RA., Benjamin, C., Bernacchi, CJ., Lawson, T. and Cavanagh, AP., (2021). The effect of increasing temperature on crop photosynthesis: from enzymes to ecosystems.. Journal of Experimental Botany. 72 (8), 2822-2844

Chibani, K., Pucker, B., Dietz, K. and Cavanagh, A., (2021). Genome‐wide analysis and transcriptional regulation of the typical and atypical thioredoxins in Arabidopsis thaliana. FEBS Letters. 595 (21), 2715-2730

Choquette, NE., Ainsworth, EA., Bezodis, W. and Cavanagh, AP., (2020). Ozone tolerant maize hybrids maintain Rubisco content and activity during long-term exposure in the field.. Plant, Cell and Environment. 43 (12), 3033-3047

Cavanagh, AP., (2020). Big progress for small subunits: new Rubisco mutants in Arabidopsis. Journal of Experimental Botany. 71 (19), 5721-5724

Kim, SY., Harvey, CM., Giese, J., Lassowskat, I., Singh, V., Cavanagh, AP., Spalding, MH., Finkemeier, I., Ort, DR. and Huber, SC., (2019). In vivo evidence for a regulatory role of phosphorylation of Arabidopsis Rubisco activase at the Thr78 site. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116 (37), 18723-18731

South, PF., Cavanagh, AP., Liu, HW. and Ort, DR., (2019). Synthetic glycolate metabolism pathways stimulate crop growth and productivity in the field. Science. 363 (6422), 45-+

Boyd, RA., Cavanagh, AP., Kubien, DS. and Cousins, AB., (2019). Temperature response of Rubisco kinetics inArabidopsis thaliana: thermal breakpoints and implications for reaction mechanisms. Journal of Experimental Botany. 70 (1), 231-242

South, PF., Cavanagh, AP., Lopez‐Calcagno, PE., Raines, CA. and Ort, DR., (2018). Optimizing photorespiration for improved crop productivity. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. 60 (12), 1217-1230

Głowacka, K., Kromdijk, J., Kucera, K., Xie, J., Cavanagh, AP., Leonelli, L., Leakey, ADB., Ort, DR., Niyogi, KK. and Long, SP., (2018). Photosystem II Subunit S overexpression increases the efficiency of water use in a field-grown crop. Nature Communications. 9 (1), 868-

South, PF., Walker, BJ., Cavanagh, AP., Rolland, V., Badger, M. and Ort, DR., (2017). Bile Acid Sodium Symporter BASS6 Can Transport Glycolate and Is Involved in Photorespiratory Metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Plant Cell. 29 (4), 808-823

Perdomo, JA., Cavanagh, AP., Kubien, DS. and Galmés, J., (2015). Temperature dependence of in vitro Rubisco kinetics in species of Flaveria with different photosynthetic mechanisms. Photosynthesis Research. 124 (1), 67-75

Cavanagh, AP. and Kubien, DS., (2014). Can phenotypic plasticity in Rubisco performance contribute to photosynthetic acclimation?. Photosynthesis Research. 119 (1-2), 203-214

Jesson, LK., Perley, DS., Cavanagh, AP., Cameron, JAC. and Kubien, DS., (2012). Mating and Fitness Consequences of Sexual System in the Moss Atrichum undulatum s.l. (Polytrichaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences. 173 (1), 16-25

Jesson, LK., Cavanagh, AP. and Perley, DS., (2011). Polyploidy influences sexual system and mating patterns in the moss Atrichum undulatum sensu lato. Annals of Botany. 107 (1), 135-143

Book chapters (1)

Raines, CA., Cavanagh, AP. and Simkin, AJ., (2022). Improving carbon fixation. In: Photosynthesis in Action. Elsevier. 175- 192. 9780128237816

Reports and Papers (1)

Boyd, RA., Cavanagh, AP., Kubien, DS. and Cousins, AB., (2018). Temperature response of Rubisco kinetics in Arabidopsis thaliana: thermal breakpoints and implications for reaction mechanisms

Grants and funding


Non-Invasive Technological Approaches to Crop Health Detection

Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board)


Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency for Sustainable Increases in Crop Yield (RIPE) Phase 3 Funding - Objective 5

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dynamic Plant Phenotyping for future proofing crop productivity

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

The carbon garden: Determining carbon capture from perennial planting

[UOE_BIAA] University of Essex (BBSRC IAA)

To assess the potential for restoration of saltmarsh, seagrass and native oyster beds at Sandwich and Pegwell Bay NNR

EXO Environmental Ltd

Quantifying photosynthetic plasticity in heat-tolerant wheat germplasm

The Royal Society


A transgenic approach to assess the balance between crop photosynthesis and photorespiration under elevated temperature

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Identifying mechanisms to boost crop productivity in a warming world

Rank Prize

+44 (0) 1206 872244


Colchester Campus

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