Welcome to the Lancaster Photosynthesis website

The photosynthesis team at Lancaster is researching how to improve carbon assimilation to increase crop yields, while minimising the use of resources. It started with the relocation of Martin Parry and Elizabete Carmo-Silva from Rothamsted Research in September 2015 (see the story here). In 2016 Steve Long, FRS, joined LEC on a joint appointment with his position at the University of Illinois (story here). In 2018 Marjorie Lundgren joined as a Leverhulme Trust Early Career fellowship focusing on C2 photosynthesis. Elizabete has since been promoted to Professor and Marjorie is now a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at Lancaster. In 2022 Doug Orr and Sam Taylor became Lecturers and began building new sub-teams broadly focused on plant engineering and physiology respectively.

Our research is, or has been, generously supported by organisations such as the BSRC, NERC, the International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP), and a sub-contract to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation award to the University of Illinois (RIPE). We focus on understanding natural variation across diverse plant genotypes in photosynthetic efficiency and regulation in response to the environment. We use this knowledge to improve carbon assimilation in crops through interaction with breeders and agronomists. We use biotechnological tools to improve specific photosynthetic processes and test the impact on overall plant performance.

Our team is part of a wider group, the Plant and Crop Science research group, consisting of twelve academic staff and involving interactions with staff from across the other research groups. Research at LEC focuses on strategic applications and provides a link to policy and business. In addition, through its Enterprise and Business Partnerships (EBP), LEC undertakes a wide range of projects in partnership with business and industry.