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Department of Plant Sciences



Thea joined the lab in 2019 as a postgraduate student funded through the NERC C-CLEAR Doctoral Training Partnership.

Previously, she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh gaining a BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Plant Science). Over the summer while an undergraduate, she undertook a Sainsbury Undergraduate Studentship funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation in Prof. Liam Dolan's lab at the University of Oxford, investigating a microtubule-dependent mechanism for growth point stability in tip growing cells, using Marchantia polymorpha rhizoid development mutants. She carried out her undergraduate Honours Research Project at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh within Dr. Catherine Kidner’s group, identifying a link between variation in repetitive genomic elements and reproductive barriers between conspecific populations in the species-rich genus Begonia


Thea's major research interests are within evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). She is particularly excited by new questions made available for inquiry due to the recent diversification of genetically tractable model organisms across the land plant phylogeny.

Her PhD project investigates the evolution of the MYB-bHLH-WDR (MBW) transcriptional complex. In seed plants, MBW complexes regulate multiple epidermal traits, including flavonoid pigmentation, trichomes and root hairs. By employing gene family phylogenetics and comparative molecular genetic work with model plants, she aims to establish the origins of the MBW complex and identify mechanisms underpinning the diversification of its functions in patterning the plant epidermis.

Postgraduate student
 Thea  Kongsted

Contact Details

Email address: 
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing Street
01223 333934; 330212