Coming to work in the lab

At present we do not have any funded positions available. However, if you are interested in coming to work with us, either as a PhD student or as a post-doc, please contact us, as we are looking to develop projects in the following areas:

Defining the degree to which BS and M gene expression is convergent in independent C4 lineages

This could be achieved using our new leaf rolling technique to separate M and BS RNA from multiple C4 lineages, followed by deep sequencing, and significant computational analysis.

The ancestral role of C4 proteins in A. thaliana

We now know that the C4 acid decarboxylases and cytosolic PPDK play very important roles in leaves of C3 species. However, in C3 A. thaliana, the role of the chloroplastic PPDK that is co-opted into C4 photosynthesis remains poorly defined in C3 species. We would like to understand what it does.

Mechanisms driving increased expression of genes recruited into C4 photosynthesis

The C4 pathway demands high expression of the C4 cycle genes in leaves. While a significant amount of work has been undertaken to investigate the control of cell specificity in C4 leaves, how increased expression is brought about is less well understood.

Identifying regulators of cell specific expression in C4 leaves

We have found cis-elements that generate M specific expression of multiple genes, and others that generate BS specific expression of multiple genes. The race is on to determine how many genes these elements control, and to identify the trans-factors that interact with them.

Advice for PhD applicants

We have many more applications than we can accept, and so the selection process is tough. In order to increase your chances, I recommend that you think in detail about the project that you would like to work on. Once you have done this, I also recommend that you prepare a proposal that consists of:

  • Background to the area that you want to work in, and the specific research question that you would like to address
  • Experimental Approaches, which outlines in detail how you would like to go about your project
  • Expected Ouptuts, which places your results in context, explaining how they will impact on the broader field.

I am happy to provide feedback on this document. You will then need to follow the application process that is defined by The University of Cambridge, and is described on the University Website. Please investigate potential Funding Routes. Please contact me after you have investigated the points above.

Advice for Post-doctoral researchers

Please contact me with a summary of what you would like to work on, and any potential Fellowship Schemes that are relevant to you.