University of Dundee

Davide Bulgarelli awarded tenure

30 Apr 2021

Dr Davide Bulgarelli from the Division of Plant Sciences has been awarded tenure. Davide’s research explores genetic and molecular mechanisms underpinning plant-microbe interactions. In particular, his lab focuses on understanding how microbial communities thriving at the root soil interface, the plant microbiome, are assembled and their contribution for sustainable crop production.

Davide joined the School of Life Sciences as an Independent Investigator in October 2013, supported by a Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellowship. In November 2015, he became a tenure-track Principal Investigator. Since then he developed an internationally recognised research team and strengthened the scientific relationships between the School of Life Sciences and the James Hutton Institute, where Davide’s lab is based.

Davide completed his PhD in Plant Biology and Crop Production (2008) at the University of Milan and the CREA (Italy) where he cloned a plant gene conferring resistance to a fungal pathogen. Prior moving to Dundee, Davide took a post-doctoral position at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne (Germany) where he became interested in the plant microbiome.

Alongside his research, Davide greatly contributes to the wider research community, teaching and public engagement.

Davide is currently a panel member for funding bodies in France and Germany, is an editor at mSystems, Frontiers and Environmental Microbiology and acts as a referee for multiple peer reviewed journals and grant proposals.

In 2016 Davide became a member of the Young Academy of Scotland and since 2020 is a member of the Coordinating Committee of the International Phytobiomes Alliance, an international industry-academia collaborative initiative to expedite microbiome application for sustainable crop production.

Davide currently teaches at the Levels 3 and 4 Plant Sciences modules and in these years his lab has hosted over a dozen of undergraduate and postgraduate students, from Dundee and further afield, providing them with opportunities for training and education in research and development.

Davide’s lab strongly believes in the value of public engagement to strengthen the public trust in science and nurture the curiosity of future generations of scientists. In past years Davide’s lab contribution to outreach included the active participation at ‘Plant Power’, the annual open day event at University of Dundee Botanic Garden, the production of an animated science project as well as lectures delivered by lab members both locally and internationally.

Professor Paul Birch, Head of the Division said, "We are happy and proud that Davide achieved tenure last Thursday. He has developed an internationally recognised, multidisciplinary research team embracing the ethos of the partnership between the University and the James Hutton Institute. A distinctive feature of Davide’s work is its focus on crop genetics, how that shapes the composition of the microbiome, and how it may contribute to sustainable agriculture. We look forward to many new and exciting discoveries coming from his lab in the future”.

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