Research in the Department
The Department is the premier University centre for research in plant and microbial sciences in the UK, offering unrivalled research and training opportunities in plant sciences. We collaborate with colleagues internationally, and in other disciplines including mathematicians, chemists, engineers and economists, to address fundamental questions in plant and microbial biology, as well as more strategic areas.
Topics covered include epigenetics and RNA silencing, Ca-signalling and circadian rhythms, evolution of floral traits and pollinator preferences, virology and molecular plant pathology, metabolism and metabolic engineering in algae, optimisation of photosynthesis and crop yields, epidemiology and modelling, tropical and temperate forest ecosystems, development and evolution, plant genetics, conservation.
The Department is has three strategic targets for its research, which address the challenges facing our planet: agricultural crops, industrial biotechnology and bioenergy, and the role of plants in the environment. In addition it is actively engaged in public outreach activities to foster increased public understanding of the importance of plants and how our research addresses issues surrounding these challenges. To encourage and facilitate knowledge transfer between academic research and industrial application, the Department also hosts the Cambridge Partnership for Plant Sciences, and is an active partner in the InCrops Project and NIAB Innovation Farm, two regional initiatives to accelerate low carbon innovation based on plant materials and to promote genetic innovation in crops.