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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 to the University's Postgraduate Funding Competition 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:

  • GFC = Postgraduate Funding Competition
  • NERC = Cambridge NERC C-CLEAR DTP
  • OTHER = Other sources of funding

Please note that this list will be updated regularly during September.

NERC DTP will be publishing their list of projects in mid-September; any projects listed below will therefore be updated to note any affiliation with NERC DTP once this is available.


Title Description
Carr Group: *Priority CASE Project* Pathogenic viruses of bees and aphids: Are plants a common reservoir? NERC / GFC / OTHER
Carr Group: Plant Virology: Interactions between viral proteins that affect host resistance to insect vectors GFC / OTHER
Carr Group: Plant Virology: Role of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in salicylic acid-induced viruses resistance GFC / OTHER
Carr Group: Plant Virology: Effects on plant-pollinator interactions GFC / OTHER
Carr Group: Plant viruses: Effects on drought resilience GFC / OTHER
Coomes Group: A hard nut to crack: the evolution, ecology and conservation of tropical oaks NERC / GFC / OTHER
Coomes Group: Getting epidemiological: applications of hyperspectral remote sensing to detecting, predicting and managing the spread of plant diseases NERC / GFC / OTHER
Coomes Group: Using airborne laser scanning to track the impacts of global change on forest ecosystems GFC / OTHER
Coomes Group: Winds of change: understanding storm damage to forests in the face of climate change NERC / GFC / OTHER
Cunniffe Group: How can landscape structure be used to control crop disease? GFC / OTHER
Cunniffe Group: Tainted Love? Modelling the epidemiology, ecology and evolutionary consequences of pollinator-transmitted plant disease NERC / GFC / OTHER
Cunniffe Group: Using citrus as a model for scaling control of disease at local scales to strategies for regional control GFC / OTHER
Davies Group: Environmental sensing in a marine diatom GFC / OTHER
Eves-van den Akker Group: The contribution of horizontal gene transfer to the evolution of plant-parasitism by nematodes GFC / OTHER
Eves-van den Akker Group: The plant immunity - and development-altering ‘effector toolbox’ of parasitic nematodes GFC / OTHER
Glover Group: Development of the light-focusing prism cells of California poppy NERC / GFC / OTHER
Glover Group: Iridescence in flowers – how and why? NERC / GFC / OTHER
Henderson Group: Understanding interactions between genetic diversity and recombination in plant genomes GFC / OTHER
Henderson Group: Unlocking recombination in plant genomes via epigenetic modification GFC / OTHER
Kromdijk Group: What can we learn from solar induced fluorescence signals to better constrain gross primary productivity? NERC / GFC / Other
Paszkowski Group: Cellular dynamics during invasion by beneficial and pathogenic fungi GFC / OTHER
Paszkowski Group: Root type contribution to phosphate nutrition of rice during asymbiosis and interaction with symbiotic fungi GFC / OTHER
Pellegrini Group: Ecosystem and biogeochemical reassembly after fire on peatlands GFC / OTHER
Pellegrini Group: Nutrient limitation of tropical savanna-forest biomes GFC / OTHER
Pellegrini Group: The resilience of plant biodiversity to changing fire regimes GFC / OTHER
Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) Robinson Group: Using biomechanics to uncouple the processes of plant growth GFC / OTHER
Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) Schornack Group: Transcription factor coordination of liverwort responses to oomycete infections GFC / OTHER
Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) Schornack Group: Contrasting functionality of a glycerol phosphate acyl transferase in roots and shoots (Rotation project) GFC / OTHER
Tanentzap Group: Exploring the role of fungi in mediating crop-weed interactions GFC / OTHER
Tanentzap Group: Invisible world: the biogeography of molecular and microbial diversity in European lakes GFC / 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.