News

2nd February 2023: Welcome to Ayushi and Heather!

We are very excited to welcome Dr Ayushi Gupta, a British Council Women in STEM Postdoctoral Fellow, and Heather Jones, a Biotechnology Honours Student, to the lab. We are so excited to see what amazing work we will achieve together! 

 

1st November 2022: We are recruiting! 

Are you interested in understanding how the world around you functions? How about how plants grow and develop? Want to understand genetics and the function of different parts of a plant? 

We are looking for enthusiastic applicants for two competitive fully funded PhD programs here at the University of Edinburgh:

                           EASTBIO DTP Program: What makes a leaf: defining the genetic toolkit that underpins leaf development   (Deadline December 5th 2022)

In nature there is a remarkable diversity in organ shape which has captured the imagination of people throughout history. The leaves of plants are one of the most diverse and characteristic organs in nature and are hypothesised to form the basis of all floral organs too. It may therefore come as a surprise that we still do not fully understand how leaves are defined, and how the genetic patterns that underpin them could be modulated to generate new shapes. Answering these questions will help us to understand how evolutionary innovations arise, and identify genes that could be important in defining the shape of our crop plants.  Our recent computational modelling work suggests that a common mechanism may underly leaf development across species. In this project you will investigate this further.

During this PhD you will investigate the genetic network underpinning grass leaf development and how it may differ in different grass organs, and other plant species. To do this you will learn to use 3D imaging, computational modelling and gene expression analyses to test hypotheses and characterise gene functions. This work will identify new genes involved in the gene network that defines the shape of the grass leaf and how these genes interact to modulate growth patterns to influence final organ shape.

                         To find out more and apply see here: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/eastbio-what-makes-a-leaf-defining-the-genetic-toolkit-that-underpins-leaf-development/?p148090

                       

                      NERC E4 Program: The function of hairy ears: how do barley awns develop and influence the effect of the environment on grain development? (Deadline January 5th 2023)

Grasses are incredibly environmentally and economically important, growing in diverse environments across the globe and providing >50% of global calories. Understanding their development is therefore key to understanding the world around us, and for food security. A characteristic feature of many    grasses is the awn. The awn is a long, thin extension that forms at the tip of outer floral organs. It is awns that give the barley ear it’s characteristic “hairy” appearance. Although the presence of an awn influences grain yield in cereal crops depending on the environment, we do not understand how the awn is specified and we do not understand how it influences grain development, beyond providing photosynthate. In particular we do not understand how awns influence the microenvironment around the developing grain, which can impact grain quality and pathogen susceptibility, and how this function is affected by changes in the environment. Using barley, this project will tackle these key questions.

                        To find out more and apply see here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/e4-dtp/how-to-apply/supervisor-led-projects/project?item=1455 

 

If you are interested in applying for these projects, or developing an alternative project proposal, please contact Annis at annis.richardson@ed.ac.uk before applying. 

We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and subject areas who are interested in helping us answer these fundamental biological questions. 

NOTE: Each program is open to applications from UK students and a limited number of places are available for exceptional international students. To check eligibility requirements please see the relevant links above. 

 

 

24th March 2022: We are recruiting! 

Are you looking for a PostDoc position? Are you from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Nepal or Sri Lanka? Do you identify as a woman? Are you interested in moving to the University of Edinburgh to study how grasses develop? 

We have a 1-year British Council Women in STEM postdoctoral fellowship which is fully funded and includes childcare support. You can find out more here:  https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-funding/financial-support/british-council-women-in-stem-fellowships

Please get in touch at annis.richardson@ed.ac.uk to discuss your interest!

 

11th November 2021: We are recruiting! 

Are you interested in understanding how the world around you functions? How about how plants grow and develop? Want to understand genetics and the function of different parts of a plant? 

We are looking for enthusiastic applicants for two competitive fully funded PhD programs here at the University of Edinburgh. Each program has different associated project:

                           EASTBIO DTP Program: What makes a leaf: defining the genetic toolkit that underpins leaf development   (Deadline December 16th 2021)

                         In nature there is a remarkable diversity in organ shape which has captured the imagination of people throughout history. The leaves of plants are one of the most diverse and characteristic organs in nature and are hypothesised to form the basis of all floral organs too. It may therefore come as a surprise                               that we still do not fully understand how leaves are defined, and how the genetic patterns that underpin them could be modulated to generate new shapes. Answering these questions will help us to understand how evolutionary innovations arise, and identify genes that could be important in defining the                                   shape of our crop plants.  Our recent computational modelling work suggests that a common mechanism may underly leaf development across species. In this project you will investigate this further.

                         During this PhD you will investigate the genetic network underpinning grass leaf development and how it may differ in different grass organs, and other plant species. To do this you will learn to use 3D imaging, computational modelling and gene expression analyses to test hypotheses and characterise                                   gene functions. This work will identify new genes involved in the gene network that defines the shape of the grass leaf and how these genes interact to modulate growth patterns to influence final organ shape.

                         To find out more and apply see here: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/eastbio-what-makes-a-leaf-defining-the-genetic-toolkit-that-underpins-leaf-development/?p135875

                        NERC E4 Program: The function of hairy ears: how do barley awns develop and influence the effect of the environment on grain development? (Deadline January 6th 2022)

                        Grasses are incredibly environmentally and economically important, growing in diverse environments across the globe and providing >50% of global calories. Understanding their development is therefore key to understanding the world around us, and for food security. A characteristic feature of many                                    grasses is the awn. The awn is a long, thin extension that forms at the tip of outer floral organs. It is awns that give the barley ear it’s characteristic “hairy” appearance. Although the presence of an awn influences grain yield in cereal crops depending on the environment, we do not understand how the awn is                          specified and we do not understand how it influences grain development, beyond providing photosynthate. In particular we do not understand how awns influence the microenvironment around the developing grain, which can impact grain quality and pathogen susceptibility, and how this function is affected                            by changes in the environment. Using barley, this project will tackle these key questions.

                        To find out more and apply see here: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/nerc-e4-the-function-of-hairy-ears-how-do-barley-awns-develop-and-influence-the-effect-of-the-environment-on-grain-development/?p137346

 

If these sound interesting, feel free to reach out to Annis at:  annis.richardson@ed.ac.uk 

We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and subject areas who are interested in helping us answer these fundamental biological questions. 

NOTE: Each program is open to applications from UK students and a limited number of places are available for exceptional international students. To check eligibility requirements please see the relevant links above. 

 

 

13th July 2021: Congratulations Ella and Katie!

Congratulations to Ella and Katie for their incredible undergraduate honours projects. They were so impressive that they both won this years award for Performance in Plant Sciences! We are sad to see you leave us, but we know that you are going on to do great things. https://www.ed.ac.uk/biology/news-events/graduation-june-2021