Our research addresses fundamental problems across plant sciences.

We study topics including physiological adaptation, plant nutrition, primary and secondary metabolism and intracellular and intercellular signalling.

Our researchers use a diverse range of approaches spanning classical molecular genetics and biochemistry through post-genomic and advanced imaging technologies.


Our plant biology research delivers positive benefits for industry, the environment and public health.

We focus on research that addresses three global challenges:

Research highlights


Name Expertise
Ian Bancroft
  • Rapeseed genomics
  • Crop trait associative transcriptomics
  • Comparative plant genomics
Neil Bruce
  • Metabolism of xenobiotic compounds
  • Detoxification mechanisms
  • Phytotechnologies
Seth J Davis 
  • Plant circadian clocks and mathematics of curves
  • Industrial biotechnology of the red alga Galdieria
  • Complete genome sequencing
Katherine Denby
  • Plant disease resistance
  • Gene regulatory networks
  • Crop improvement with focus on leafy vegetables
Daphne Ezer
  • Gene expression dynamics over time and space
  • Relationships between genotypes, environments and phenotypes
  • Machine learning for sequencing data
Ville Friman
  • Host-parasite coevolution in rhizosphere microbiomes
  • Plant-microbiome feedbacks
  • Pathogen biocontrol and phage therapy in agriculture
Ian A Graham FRS 
  • Metabolism of alkaloids and terpenoids
  • Medicinal plants
  • Industrial biotechnology of high value chemicals from plants
Andrea Harper
  • Multi-omic analysis of complex traits
  • Plant health and stress tolerance 
  • Crop improvement
Sue Hartley
  • Soil-plant-herbivore interactions
  • Silicon-based plant defences
  • Sustainable agriculture and agri-environmental policy
Angela Hodge
  • Plant-soil-microbial interactions
  • Arbuscular mycorrhiza
  • Nutrient cycling
Benjamin Lichman
  • Plant natural product biosynthesis
  • Evolution of plant specialised metabolism
  • Mechanism and applications of enzymes from plant specialised metabolism 
Frans Maathuis
  • Abiotic plant stress
  • Plant nutrition
  • Membrane transport
Luke Mackinder
  • CO2 concentrating mechanisms
  • High-throughput algal biology
  • Systems and synthetic biology
Simon McQueen-Mason
  • Biorefining for  low carbon fuels chemicals and materials
  • Plant cell walls
  • Lignocellulolytic enzyme discovery
Kelly Redeker
  • Plant-microbe-soil interactions through metabolism of volatile compounds
  • Biofumigation and pest control
  • Agricultural impacts on climate
Thierry Tonon
  • Algal physiology and metabolism
  • Algal metabolic pathways and enzymes
  • Biotechnological applications of algae and algal genes