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Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme


Department of Plant Services

Research theme: Bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food


I did my undergraduate degree at Oxford University, specialising in ecology, evolution and plant biology in my final year. I have also spent a year working as an RA at Lancaster University. In my spare time, I like to go on walks and hikes, going cold water swimming and bouldering. I also enjoy cooking and painting.


Project Title:

Understanding the role and regulation of PsbS in C4 Plants

Project Summary:

When plants are in too high light, excess energy has to be dissipated to protect the photosynthetic machinery from damage, known as photoprotection. PsbS is one of the key proteins that is involved in this process, and allows energy to be dissipated as heat. Relaxation of photoprotection, however, is slow and this leads to loss of plant productivity during the times that photosynthesis is reduced. Understanding the role of PsbS has been suggested as a possible avenue for improving crop production but little is known about how PsbS and photoprotection may function beyond model species. C4 photosynthesis is a different form of photosynthesis employed by crops such as maize, sugarcane and sorghum that allows for greater water use efficiency, productivity and nitrogen use efficiency. This has been facilitated by changes in plant morphology and biochemistry. My project aims to understand how the role of PsbS may have changed in these species, in terms of both regulation and function. Overexpressing PsbS has been shown to increase yield by 15% and increase water use efficiency in tobacco. Understanding the role of PsbS in more species will be key to using this most effectively to improve crop productivity.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Dr Johannes Kromdijk

Staff Photo

Job Titles

PhD Student