Group research focus
The major foci of my group's research are understanding : (1) the role of genotype and environment in controlling variations in plant respiration rates; (2) the impact of variable respiration rates on carbon exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. While much of our work in recent years has been on natural ecosystems (arctic to tropics), we are increasingly using cereal crops as model systems to elucidate the molecular, biochemical and physiological factors responsible for variable respiration rates.
Teaching and research achievements
The last few years have enabled us to better understand global patterns in plant respiration, which in turn provides a framework for improving representation of plant respiration in vegetation-climate models.
What do you enjoy most about teaching ?
Nothing better than giving a good lecture to a large first year cohort - a highlight of any day. Equally, giving a flat lecture is a nightmare, and one that I try to avoid!
What do you see as challenges for your field of research?
Despite advances in recent years, our understanding of factors controlling variation in plant respiration rates remains poor - a step-change is therefore needed in our scientific understanding of this process. I am hopeful that collaborations among diverse research groups will enable this to occur.
- This profile originally appeared in the RSB newsletter, issue 70, November 2015.
- Atkin Group - Plant respiration in a changing world