The University of Cambridge has been central to innovation and teaching in Plant Science for many years; the scientific home for a dynasty of famous botanists including John Ray and Stephen Hales in the 17th and 18th centuries, Darwin’s mentor JS Henslow in the 19th century, and Blackman, Tansley and Godwin in the 20th century. Blackman discovered the basic mechanisms of photosynthesis and Tansley, who established our nature reserve system, coined the term ecosystem. Their legacy continues today with vibrant research and teaching in the Department of Plant Sciences. Elsewhere in the University the Sainsbury Laboratory works exclusively on plants and there are groups with related interests in other University Departments.
Our research is multidisciplinary and international and we have collaborations with computer scientists, economists, mathematicians, physicists, chemists and engineers as well as other biologists.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Department become leaders in research and teaching. Others find roles in various careers in industry, government and education.