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List of available projects

Below is a list of available projects in the Department of Plant Sciences and the Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU). Click here for projects at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB).

The projects are organised into Departmental Research Group, title and available funding opportunities.

Some projects will be specifically targeted towards defined UKRI Research Council DTP schemes, as well as being open for applicants applying for University Funds or other sources of funding.

Potential applicants should always approach the potential Supervisor/Group Leader in the first instance to discuss eligibility.

Key to funding opportunities below:

  • UF = University Funds
  • NERC = Cambridge NERC C-CLEAR DTP
  • MRC = Medical Research Council
  • OTHER = Other sources of funding

Please note that this list will be updated regularly.


Title Description
Brockington Group: Defining the evolutionary mechanisms underlying a novel eukaryotic gene cluster NERC / UF / OTHER
Brockington Group: Understanding the rules of convergent evolution NERC / UF / OTHER
Brockington Group: Why do plants accumulate animal-type neurotransmitters? NERC / UF / OTHER
Coomes Group: *Priority CASE Project* Restoring Scotland’s Native Woodlands: understanding benefits and constraints using the Cairngorms Connect landscape restoration project NERC / UF / OTHER
Coomes Group: A hard nut to crack: the evolution, ecology and conservation of tropical oaks NERC / UF / OTHER
Coomes Group: Will forests be effective nature-based solutions as the world’s climate changes? NERC / UF / OTHER
Cunniffe Group: Scaling control of disease at local scales to strategies for regional control MRC / UF / OTHER
Cunniffe Group: Tainted Love? Modelling the epidemiology, ecology and evolutionary consequences of pollinator-transmitted plant disease NERC / UF / OTHER
Eves-van den Akker Group: Losing diapause: is the loss of diapause and rapid population build-up of Potato Cyst Nematodes in Africa prophetic for a warmer UK? NERC / UF / OTHER
Eves-van den Akker Group: The plant immunity - and development-altering ‘effector toolbox’ of parasitic nematodes UF / OTHER
Eves-van den Akker Group: The contribution of horizontal gene transfer to the evolution of plant-parasitism by nematodes UF / OTHER
Glover Group: Development of the light-focusing prism cells of California poppy UF / OTHER
Glover Group: Iridescence in flowers – how and why? UF / OTHER
Harris Group: Epigenome engineering: priming chromatin for pathogen resistance UF / OTHER
Harris Group: Readers of the ‘histone code’: the missing link in triggering gene activity UF / OTHER
Henderson Group: Mapping and remodeling the recombination landscape in Chlamydomonas UF / OTHER
Henderson Group: Understanding interactions between genetic diversity and recombination in plant genomes UF / OTHER
Henderson Group: Unlocking recombination in plant genomes via epigenetic modification UF / OTHER
Pellegrini Group: Ecosystem and biogeochemical reassembly after fire on peatlands NERC / UF / OTHER
Pellegrini Group: Nutrient limitation of tropical savanna-forest biomes NERC / UF / OTHER
Pellegrini Group: The resilience of plant biodiversity to changing fire regimes NERC / UF / OTHER
Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) Robinson Group: Mechanical and hormonal regulation of plant development UF / OTHER
Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) Schornack Group: Transcription factor coordination of liverwort responses to oomycete infections UF / OTHER
Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) Schornack Group: Contrasting functionality of a glycerol phosphate acyl transferase in roots and shoots (Rotation project) UF / OTHER
Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) Locke Group: Mechanisms underlying inter-individual variability in Arabidopsis thaliana UF / OTHER
Tanentzap Group: *Priority CASE Project* Sensing natural climate solutions: is forest management leaking carbon into receiving waters? NEC / UF / OTHER
Tanentzap Group: Exploring the role of fungi in mediating crop-weed interactions NERC / UF / OTHER
Tanentzap Group: Invisible world: the biogeography of molecular and microbial diversity in European lakes NERC / UF / OTHER
Tanentzap Group: Thawing Arctic: productivity and sources of carbon cycling in small lakes NERC / UF / OTHER
Webb Group: Dynamic plasticity of the circadian clock UF / OTHER

The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.