skip to content

Department of Plant Sciences


The Department of Plant Sciences has a long-established track record of innovation and has developed many specialist centres to further research and development in specialist areas. community.


Algal Innovation Centre 

The Algal Innovation Centre is a Centre for Excellence with test and scale-up facilities, connecting the entire pipeline of algal research from strain selection and improvement, through harvesting and processing, to development of underpinning technology and engineering solutions. Recent discoveries include  development of molecular tools to allow efficient and rational manipulation of transgene expression, based on our discovery of vitamin-responsive gene expression in Chlamydomonas  reinhardtii, and proposal of the concept of Synthetic Ecology, which aims to establish robust algal co-cultures to facilitate large-scale algal cultivation.

Find out more about the Algal Innovation Centre.

See the centre’s work on algal biotech scaleup here


Crop Science Centre

The Crop Science Centre is a partnership between the University of Cambridge and NIAB and is a unique translational research operation in crop sciences. The new Centre benefits from the diverse skills and expertise of the University and NIAB, providing an environment for research excellence in crops, with the drive and expertise for scientific translation to address real-world problems.

Find out more about the Crop Science Centre.


Conservation Research Institute

The University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute is the academic ‘engine room’ of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) – a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and nine leading biodiversity conservation organisations. It aims to break down disciplinary silos by amalgamating conservation related research drawn from all six core Schools within the University: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Clinical Medicine and Technology.

Find out more about the Conservation Research Institute


Engineering Biology Interdisciplinary Research Centre

The Engineering Biology Interdisciplinary Research Centre provides a hub for anyone interested in Engineering and Synthetic Biology at the University of Cambridge, as well as commercial partners and external collaborators. The Centre promotes interdisciplinary exchange in the fields of engineering and synthetic biology through a regular event series and by funding projects at the intersection of biology, engineering, computing and design.

Find out more about the Engineering Biology Interdisciplinary Research Centre


Global Food Security Interdisciplinary Research Centre

The Global Food Security Interdisciplinary Research Centre promotes an interdisciplinary approach to addressing the challenge of ensuring all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and preferences for an active and healthy life. 

Read more about the Global Food Security Interdisciplinary Research Centre


Plants @ Cambridge hub

Plants @ Cambridge is a new home-on-the-web for all the research, discovery and education work that Cambridge University academics do with plants. The hub highlights the work of nine departments, programmes and centres, and is reaching out across the university to connect with researchers studying plants in other disciplines to grow a network of practitioners and participants across and outside of traditional research groupings.

The hub is an evolution of the Cambplants initiative, which served to tackle global challenges by harnessing the power of plant science research in Cambridge by bringing into practice findings from fundamental research through interdisciplinary partnerships to address global challenges in food, energy, health, materials and ecosystem services.