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The department’s research priorities are focused on understanding the ways that plants function with the aim of improving crop productivity and quality.

The department benefits from a unique combination of knowledge, expertise, facilities and resources. The multidisciplinary teams have expertise in molecular biology, bioinformatics, biochemistry, modelling and plant and crop physiology.

Areas of particular interest include the efficient use of resources, especially nutrients, crop quality in wheat and oilseeds, and resilience to stress. Specific strengths are pathway discovery and metabolic engineering, high throughput field phenotyping, image data extraction, grain composition analysis and biochemistry, resource partitioning (metabolic and structural) and responses to heat. Underpinning this research is analytical expertise in seed composition including lipidomics, metabolomics, natural product chemistry and biological imaging, as well as genomics, genetics and conventional breeding.


Sue Steele

Sue Steele

Executive Assistant to the Science Director