How plant science will change the world

By Erica Hawkins, John Innes Centre, University of East Anglia, Norwich

Plant science is a lot more important than you realise.  It has often been cast as cell biology’s less exciting sibling. What is the point of studying root growth, flowering or stomatal aperture? There are way more important things to be researching… aren’t there?

Continue reading How plant science will change the world

A battle on two fronts – coping with a PhD in the midst of mental illness

By Caroline Wood, University of Sheffield

It’s a bit ironic really that my PhD topic ended up being the parasitic plant Striga gesnerioides. This notorious weed cannot survive without a host, so as soon as it germinates it attaches itself to the roots of a susceptible victim. A plant rather similar, then, to the mental illness I have been struggling with for over six years now.

Continue reading A battle on two fronts – coping with a PhD in the midst of mental illness

Career returning – getting to the root of it

By Helen Thompson, Daphne Jackson Fellow, Durham University

helen-thompson-2A friend and ex-lab mate has just started volunteering in a lab to update her CV and commented to me “it’s like coming home isn’t it?”, I couldn’t agree more.  With my borrowed lab coat on, agar media bottle rattling on the plate in the microwave while it melts and the hum of the flow hood in the background, after 12 years away from the lab it really does feel like a homecoming.  I’m very grateful for my former career, as a secondary school teacher which provided me with a stable income and let me raise my son but it just wasn’t the bee’s knees for me. So now that my son towers above me the Biochemical Society and Daphne Jackson Trust have sponsored me to return to plant biology research at Durham University Department of Biosciences working in Professor Keith Lindsey’s group.   Continue reading “Career returning – getting to the root of it”