Sustainability database

Groupings

Plant Sciences

Plants form the basis of life on Earth...

They are essential to us as food and their domestication was a primary driving factor in the birth of civilisation. Now, with the rising world population and climate change increasing the frequency of crop failures, food supply is becoming a key issue throughout the world. At the same time, plants are playing a growing role in meeting our energy needs and have enormous potential as sources of novel compounds.

Research at the University of Manchester addresses the urgent need to improve and enhance our understanding and use of plants in agriculture and other industries. At the same time, we are examining the origins of agriculture, the diversity of plant life and the role of plants in our environment. We are very much involved in activities to communicate the importance of plants in our core curriculum and to the wider community, through various education and outreach projects.

Type: 
Institute
Acronym: 
PlantSci

Connections

Person

Dr Bruce Grieve

Dr Grieve is a chartered engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). He has spent 20 years of his career in the field of on-line analysis, measurement and informatics R&D within pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Keywords: 
Information technology, Innovation, Health, Biotechnology, Biology, Technology, Monitoring, Agriculture, Business, Rural studies, Filtration, Instrumentation, Communication, Engagement

Person

Dr Jon Pittman

Jon Pittman is a Lecturer in the Cellular Systems Section of the Faculty of Life Sciences. He is also the Programme Director for the Plant Science and Cell Biology BSc degrees.

Keywords: 
Bioenergy, Energy, Renewable energy, Sustainability, Climate, Climate change, Water, Waste, Agriculture, Rural studies

Person

Dr Giles Johnson

Global climate change is resulting in changing weather patterns. For the UK, it is predicted that we will get warmer wetter winters and hotter drier summers. At the same time, there will be an increase in the frequency of extreme weather, including periods of droughts and heat waves, but also more storms and floods. This, combined with growing demand for food across the world, means that agriculture is facing unprecedented challenges. The crops used by farmers will have to change.

Keywords: 
Climate, Climate change, Carbon, Weather, Agriculture, Rural studies, Plants, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Ecology, Environment, Sustainability, Teaching, Education

Person

Dr Rachel Webster

Member of the university's Biodiversity group. Works at Manchester Museum's Herbarium.

Keywords: 
Plants, Biology, Sustainability, Climate, Climate change, Environment, Biodiversity

Person

Dr Caroline Bowsher

Plants unlike animals have the ability to produce their own food via Photosynthesis. This process takes part in the green parts of a plant – manly in the leaves. Photosynthesis produces carbohydrates, such as starch, and other important food products such as amino acids, proteins and fats. The chemical reactions producing these compounds are catalysed by enzymes found in a part of the cell called the chloroplast.

Keywords: 
Plants, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Sustainability, Teaching, Education

Person

Prof Liz Sheffield

My research concerns mosses, liverworts and ferns in both natural and artificial environments. I am very interested in the reproductive processes of non-flowering plants, sporing behaviour in particular. Several current projects relate to conservation, including work on the environmental impact of herbicides.

Keywords: 
Plants, Biology, Conservation, Biodiversity, Environment, Impact, Chemicals, Sustainability, Teaching, Education

Person

Dr Anil Day

Keywords: 
Genetics, Biotechnology, Biology, Plants, Sustainability, Teaching, Education

Person

Prof John Handley

John Handley's current research interests are focused on landscape dynamics and the management of change, ecologically informed and participative approaches to resource management and the development of adaptation strategies for climate change impacts.

Keywords: 
Environment, Climate, Geology, Resources, Engagement, Development, Climate change, Resilience, Impact, Urban heat island, Cities

Person

Prof Richard Preziosi

One of the University's growing number of Sustainability Enthusiasts. Find out more about the initiative here.

I have a strong interest in conservation biology and field course teaching and I have taught on field courses for over 10 years. Much of my field work is done in the neotropics as part of conservation and development projects. I am a certified Senior Ecologist (ESA) and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society.

Keywords: 
Sustainability enthusiast, Workplace engagement, Engagement, Genetics, Biology, Trees, Biodiversity, Water, External engagement, Community, Conservation, Environment, Fieldwork, Teaching, Education, Development, Sustainability

Person

Prof Ferda Mavituna

Keywords: 
Environment, Health, Management, Sustainability, Development, Globalisation, Biotechnology, Biology, Technology, Teaching, Education

Person

Dr Patrick Gallois

There are many situations in a plant’s life when self-destruction of some cells is required. This may happen to create empty spaces inside tissues or when energy needs recycling for new growth or when a scorched earth policy is required to stop the progression of a pathogen. These situations occur during e.g. the germination of seeds, the differentiation of vascular elements, the reproduction and the senescence of plants and under pathogen attack. In all cases, a precise and spatially confined activation of cell death is required and can only been achieved by a complex genetic control.

Keywords: 
Bioenergy, Energy, Renewable energy, Biotechnology, Sustainability, Environment, Plants, Food, Resilience, Agriculture, Teaching, Education