University of Dundee

Plant Sciences

Plants form the basis of life on Earth providing food, fuel and even the oxygen we breathe. Research in plant science is central to facing global challenges of food security, renewable energy, conservation and climate change. The Division of Plant Sciences was established in 2007, creating an internationally recognised centre for molecular plant science addressing these themes by increasing understanding of genes and processes underpinning important plant traits (yield, disease resistance, stress tolerance, developmental characteristics, end-use quality). 

Plant Sciences currently has eleven PIs and is supported by external funding from BBSRC, EU, industry and others. We are located at the James Hutton Institute on the outskirts of Dundee with whom we have a long-standing strategic partnership supported by five joint appointments, substantial collaborative external funding and PhD studentships. The partnership brings together our discovery-based molecular plant science investigating fundamental questions of plant biology, with scientists with knowledge of applied research in crop species including front-line crop and pathogen genomics, genetics and cultivar production.

This vibrant centre for plant science provides opportunities for excellent scientists with research ideas relevant to funding priorities interested in developing new collaborations and translational opportunities.

Principal Investigators

Professor Paul Birch
Professor of Plant Pathology and Deputy Head of Division of Plant Sciences
Plant pathogen interactions
Dr Jorunn Bos
Associate Staff
Professor John Brown
Chair of Molecular Plant Sciences
RNA processing and expression
Dr Davide Bulgarelli
Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellow
Structure, function and host control of the plant microbiota
Professor Andy Flavell
Professor of Plant Genomics
Structure, evolution and biodiversity of crop plant genomes
Professor Claire Halpin FRSE
Professor of Plant Biology and Biotechnology and Head of the Division of Plant Sciences
Manipulation of plant metabolism using reverse genetics
Dr Piers Hemsley
Principal Investigator
Protein S-acylation and transmembrane signalling in plants
Dr Edgar Huitema
Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellow
Mechanisms of virulence acquisition during Phytophthora-host associations
Dr Sarah McKim
Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellow
Developmental biology of plant architecture
Professor Gordon Simpson
Professor of Molecular Genetics
RNA and Development
Professor Robbie Waugh FRSE
Personal Chair of Crop Genomics
Personal Chair of Crop Genomics

Emeritus

Professor Lyn Jones
Professor of Plant Ecology
The Adaptation of Plants to Environmental Stresses
Professor John Raven FRS FRSE
Emeritus Professor
Interactions among resources in the growth of phytoplankton