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Department of Plant Sciences


Research group


Research overview

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 emergence 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 characterise the origin of the complex and the diversification of its roles in epidermal patterning.


Thea joined the lab in 2019 as a doctoral student funded by NERC. Previously, she completed a BSc (Hons.) in Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. While an undergrad, she carried out a summer research project 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 Marchantia polymorpha rhizoids. In her final year research project at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in Dr. Catherine Kidner’s group she identified a link between variation in genomic repeats and reproductive barriers between conspecific populations in the species-rich genus Begonia
Postgraduate Student
 Thea  Kongsted

Contact Details

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