skip to content

Department of Plant Sciences

carousel research overview

Our research encompasses the breadth of plant and microbial biology, from the molecular to the ecological. We use cutting-edge techniques in imaging, gene expression and bioinformatics and pair these with physiological evaluations, often including computational and modelling approaches. We are well-placed to play a role in the many fields of research associated with plants - food production, renewable energies, materials, synthetic biology, ecology, and more.

The Department of Plant Sciences is part of a wider ecosystem of research excellence. Our researchers co-operate across sectors of the University and associated facilities, collections and local collaborators, creating a critical mass of knowledge. The Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge Botanic Garden, and the Herbarium are all associated with the Department, and provide unique collaboration opportunities. In addition, we have close links with NIAB, and have formalised these in the ground-breaking Cambridge Centre for Crop Science.

Our vision lays out how we will continue to build our research in four key ways:

  • to carry out cutting-edge scientific research that leads to breakthroughs in our understanding of natural and cultivated plant systems
  • to address questions across different disciplines and scales, from molecules to the environment, combined with experimental, technological and mathematical approaches
  • to ensure that our findings have impact on sustainable technologies, support for the growing bioeconomy, food security and conservation
  • to train significant numbers of plant biologists, biological engineers and conservationists, so that they will be equipped to tackle these global challenges

You can read more about our research by clicking through to our research groups, or looking at our research themes which cut across the department and associated organisations.

Banner image of stomata by Jim Haseloff.

Research seminars

Seminars are generally held on Thursdays at 1pm in the Large Lecture Theatre (LLT).  Attendance to all seminars, both external and internal is strongly encouraged within the Department. 

We ask external speakers to try and spend the whole day in the department meeting graduate students, post-docs, and early career researchers. It is a great way for members of the department to get insight into research, to meet future employers, and network more generally.

You can see a list of seminars on