Thursday 15 February 2024

Would you like to identify genes enabling the origin of apical growth?

 Very excited to be able to advertise a post-doc opening to join a HFSP project on the origin of apical growth in vascular plants. The project focusses on lycophytes, and ties together analyses of fossil and living lycophyte morphology with transcriptomic and developmental and genetic studies. It will involve collaboration with partners in Edinburgh (Sandy Hetherington), Kyoto (Rieko Fujinami), and Ghent (Tom Beeckman), and some exchange between labs. Work in my lab will identify genes initiating sporangium development and test the role of candidate regulators of lycophyte apical growth. The closing date is 6th March 2024, and I’m happy to take any questions about it by e-mail. There is more information on this link.


Thursday 19 October 2023

Hiring post-docs for HFSP project on the origin of apical growth

Very excited that Sandy Hetherington in Edinburgh is advertising the first of four post-doctoral positions on our HFSP funded project on the origin of apical growth. More information and applications here, NB closing date 30th of October 2023.



Tuesday 4 April 2023

HFSP grant on the origin of apical growth

I am super chuffed to have been awarded a Human Frontiers grant with Tom Beeckman (VIB, Ghent), Rieko Fujinami (Kyoto University of Education) and Sandy Hetherington (Edinburgh University) to unmask key innovations enabling the origin of apical growth in vascular plants. 

Weighted towards the ancient lycophyte group, our work aims to use fossils and phylogeny to identify the ancestral apex structure of vascular plants and to establish a lycophyte genetic model for comparative analyses of apical function in vascular plants.

Keep an eye out for four future post-doc positions to join us and work on this exciting project, and please get in touch if you are interested!

@HFSP, @BristolBioSci, @beeckman_tom, @fujinami_rieko, @Sandy_Heth, @InstMolPlantSci

Lycophyte (Selaginella kraussiana) shoot apices
viewed by SEM





Wednesday 15 March 2023

Congratulations to Vicky Spencer on publishing her work on the evolution of branching!

My team have a new paper out today in development on the evolution of branching, showing that bifurcation in the lycophyte Selaginella kraussiana is regulated by auxin transport and that PIN-mediated auxin transport is an ancestral regulator of branching within the vascular plants. Really proud of my post-doc Vicky Spencer who started the project in 2019 and did the work through the pandemic, and one of our undergraduates Lucy Spencer who helped out in her free time. The results from their careful surgical experiments are lush, and you can read about the work here @Dev_journal! Thanks @LeverhulmeTrust for funding our project.

Scanning electron micrograph of a Selaginella kraussiana shoot tip.

Monday 28 June 2021