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Sainsbury Laboratory

Research interests

I am interested in the growth of trees under changing environmental conditions. Plants respond to their environment mainly by growth adjustments. Interacting effects of environmental factors like carbon dioxide levels, temperature, and water availability on plant growth are not well understood. Furthermore, plant growth - especially tree growth - has a major effect on the environment itself. For example, ca. 18% of the fossil-fuel carbon emissions by humans are sequestered by trees each year, so plant growth has a significant effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and subsequently longer-term temperature changes.

By analysing tree growth responses to environmental factors, and their impacts on carbon sequestration, Professor Andrew Friend (Department of Geography) and I are developing a new model approach that can more accurately describe and predict carbon sequestration by trees in response to a changed climate.


Previous research

My previous research was in the cytokinin signalling field and on how the interaction between cytokinin and auxin shapes xylem and procambium development in the Arabidopsis primary root. I undertook this research in the Helariutta group, initially in Helsinki  in 2013 and then at SLCU from 2014. My research focused on cytokinin in root development and in the regulation of translation. Before joining the Helariutta Lab I undertook my diploma and PhD at the Institute of Applied Genetics, Freie Universitaet Berlin, with Alexander Heyl and Thomas Schmuelling, where I analysed the mediation of the cytokinin transcriptional response by developing a screening system for novel modulators of cytokinin signaling.


Key Publications

Hellmann, E., Gruhn, N., and Heyl, A. (2010). The more, the merrier: Cytokinin signaling beyond Arabidopsis. Plant Signaling and Behaviour 5, 1365 - 1371. 

Cutcliffe, J.W., Hellmann, E., Heyl, A., and Rashotte, A.M. (2011). CRFs form protein-protein interactions with each other and with members of the cytokinin signalling pathway in Arabidopsis via the CRF domain. Journal of Experimental Botany 62(14):4995-5002

Ruonala R, Hellmann E, Helariutta Y. (2013). Plant vascular development-connective tissue connecting scientists: updates and trends at the PVB 2013 conference. Physiologica Plantarum 151 (2):119-25

Furuta KM, Hellmann E, Helariutta Y. (2014). Molecular control of cell specification and cell differentiation during procambial development. Annual Review of Plant Biology 65; 607-38

Research Associate
Dr Eva  Hellmann

Contact Details

Sainsbury Laboratory
University of Cambridge
47 Bateman Street