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Department of Plant Sciences


The Department is on the Downing Site in Cambridge, with a dedicated team for managing and resourcing facilities ( These include a state-of-the-art Plant Growth Facility (PGF) and Algal Innovation Centre (AIC) situated at the Botanic Garden, adjacent to the Sainsbury Laboratory at Cambridge University. There are experimental glasshouse facilities maintained by Botanic Garden staff. The Crop Science Centre also has plant growth facilities and external crop trial plots can also be accessed via NIAB. Van runs transport plant material and equipment between the sites. The Department has one large lecture theatre, a small lecture theatre, a seminar room, a teaching laboratory, two supervision rooms, a write-up room, and a Departmental library. The Herbarium, containing major collections of international significance (Martin, Henslow, Darwin, Wallace and Lindley) and over 50,000 type specimens, is situated in the base of the SLCU. A programme of office and laboratory refurbishment has been completed in recent years, with an investment in computing clusters and their support. Other centralised facilities include autoclaving, workshop and stores. There are also some facilities for maintaining plant growth and algal cultures on the Downing Street site. The Department also has a confocal microscopy suite, as well as mass spectrometry (GC-MS, IRMS) and gas exchange/fluorescence equipment for plant (eco)physiology. A vibrant tea room provides the focus for daily scientific exchanges and occasional social events.