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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.

Department of Plant Sciences

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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.