We are interested in understanding how the environment affects plant-microbe interactions, particularly in the context of plant disease. Our previous and ongoing work has addressed how metal hyperaccumulation by plants growing in metal-rich and polluted environments provides an elemental defence against microbial infection, and how environmental factors are contributing to the development of tree diseases such as acute oak decline. Research projects are available that investigate the impact of environmental factors on microbial physiology and gene expression, community structure and on the outcome of plant-microbe interactions. We are also interested in the development of biosensors and sensor technologies for detecting specific chemicals and their effect on microorganisms. We use a wide range of techniques, including molecular genetics, biochemistry, bioimaging and analytical chemistry.
Associated Research Streams
plant disease, microbiology, biosensors, metal hyperaccumulation, tree health, microbiome