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Introducing SLCU's newest Group Leader- in her own words

last modified Sep 22, 2017 04:02 PM

I grew up bringing home living things I wasn’t supposed to take inside. I just wanted to watch them grow and figure out how they did it. I find the idea that living creatures start with one single cell that multiplies and differentiates to create a fully functional organism (and that evolution can act on these processes to produce new forms that look nothing like each other) just spellbinding!

The flower is a brilliant structure to tackle evo-devo questions and a great experimental system to play with. During my PhD I studied the function and evolution of a key plant protein called LEAFY that controls when and where plants flower, but that is also highly conserved in plants like moss, ferns and pine tree that do not flower. I moved to Cambridge for my postdoc to join the lab of Beverley Glover and try to understand how flowers can use optical tricks to produce colours.

I am now assembling a team at SLCU to understand how plants can create intricate patterns on the surface of their petals and how these patterns can participate in plant/pollinator interactions. This is a highly interdisciplinary project and the collaborative approach of SLCU, with its fantastic support staff and facilities combined with a remarkable range of talent and research expertise, makes for an ideal environment for our new group to start some exciting research.

And being located at the heart of the Botanic garden also makes it the perfect spot to keep on sampling the wonderful living things we can find outside!

Further information can be found here.