Making the most of sunshine

Photosynthesis Research at the Lancaster Environment Centre

*3* new PhD opportunities!

Exciting news as we have 3 new PhD project opportunities advertised via the North West Bio DTP program.

There are projects with Elizabete, Marj, and Sam. These projects are intended to be Lancaster-based, but with strong links to partner institutions and the opportunity to spend at least some of the time working with co-supervisors based at these partner institutions.

Elizabete’s project is around Rubisco activase and thermal tolerance using biochemical, structural, and computational approaches, full details here: ENGINEERING PLANT RUBISCO ACTIVASE FOR THERMAL TOLERANCE



Marj’s project is contributing to ongoing work looking at engineering C2 photosynthesis into C3 plants using a synthetic biology approach. Full details here: RECREATING COMPONENTS OF C2 PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN ARABIDOPSIS



Sam’s project is looking at Barley and how it might cope with stress under future high CO2 conditions, using a range of techniques including physiology, you can find more details here: TOMORROW NEVER DIES: WILL A HIGH CO2 WORLD MEAN LESS STRESS FOR BARLEY?



For full details including eligibility and the application process please see the website for the North West Bio DTP.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the project supervisors before applying.
Applications close on 9th February 2024.

New PhD opportunity with Marj on C2!

Looking for an exciting PhD opportunity in photosynthesis?

Just advertised in a project working with Marj on C2 photosynthesis and grasses.

This is via the Envision Doctoral Training Programme led by Lancaster.
Full details in including eligibility and how to apply can be found here:

Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Marj ahead of the deadline if they want to learn more.

Lots of new additions!

It’s a busy start to the academic year for the Lancs Photosynthesis and Lancs Plant Engineering teams, with 4 new PhD students starting this week!

Connor starts with us looking at inhibition of Rubisco with Elizabete and Doug as part of the RIPE project.

Julia is joining Doug’s group as part of the North West Bio DTP to work on microcompartment engineering (jointly with Strathclyde).

Haixia joins as a China Scholarship Council funded student working with Sam and Elizabete on photosynthesis under heat and drought.

And Alvaro will be working on building carboxysomes in plants with Doug and Marj on a LEC scholarship.

Welcome everyone to the PhD journey!

As the new arrivals settle in we’ll share more info on the exciting work they’re doing.

Welcome to the team Carmen!

Very exciting to have Carmen join the team this week as a Senior postdoc.

She’ll be working with Elizabete on work related to improved photosynthesis in wheat. This is part of the BBSRC Institute Strategic Programme Delivering Sustainable Wheat, this project aims to decipher the mechanistic regulation of Rubisco synthesis and degradation and how this process impacts photosynthetic efficiency and nitrogen use efficiency in wheat.


Welcome JA!

A big Lancaster and RIPE welcome to JA Siqueira who is the latest addition to the Lancs Photosynthesis and RIPE teams.

This month JA started a postdoc with Elizabete and Doug working on Rubisco regulation, with a focus on cowpea and soybean within the RIPE project.

PhD and MRes opportunities with Sam

There are currently 2 opportunities to the group of Sam Taylor for either a PhD or MRes project.

The PhD project is a fully funded place looking at wheat crop canopies, photosynthesis, physiology, and modelling.
Details, eligibility and application process are described here.

Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Sam about the project and their fit to it.
Please also carefully check you are eligible for this funded place, importantly, please be aware that “UK home” students can include people without UK citizenship, but you need to meet some rules for residency status.

Review of applications will start 25th August, with the successful candidate ideally able to start October 2023.


The MRes place is looking at the potential of solar-tracking photovoltaics to help plants within agrivoltaics systems.
Please check the details described here. This is a tuition-only place, and doesn’t come with a stipend.


New funding support from the Wolfson Foundation announced!

We are super excited and very thankful to the Wolfson Foundation for the recently announced round of funding which includes new support for expanding our plant research facilities in the Lancaster Environment Centre.

This will enable us to expand and improve our capabilities to investigate plant response to change spanning from the whole plant level to physiological, biochemical, and molecular responses of crops and wild species. This project is led primarily by Marj, supported by Sam, and with Elizabete, Steve, Ian, and Doug also involved.

Welcome Jacqueline

Big welcome to Jacqueline who has joined us starting from today!
She’s here for a 7 month research visit from Brazil to continue her postdoc work looking at plant responses to silica nanoparticles.

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