Our group studies the response of plants to changes in the spectral composition of radiation, how these signals are processed and received at the level of the leaf and whole plant.
We place this research in context by considering how the spectral composition of radiation perceived by plants changes depending on their environment. This can mean studying the different responses of plants in sun and shade, and even refining what we understand by ‘shade’ through studying how plant canopies evolve over the year and interact with seasonal changes in radiation.
These responses become particularly ecologically relevant when we contextualise them to the other abiotic and biotic interactions that plants experience in the environment. This can involve elucidating (1) the response of plants to combined stress factors, understanding (2) how plant traits influence community-level processes, or even (3) how changes in the climate may interact with the spectral cues that plants use to trigger phenological development.
The core expertise in our group is in plant physiological ecology. But starting from an ecophysiological perspective, identifying the processes that respond to environmental factors, gives us great interdisciplinary scope to scale up these responses allowing further understanding of plant ecology and biometeorology, and utilising molecular and genomic approaches to link our findings with new knowledge of photoreceptors and signalling pathways.