Alexander Bowles

PhD Candidate in Plant Evolution, University of Essex

In 2014, I pursued a MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London which led me to investigate the diversity of cyanobacteria in Antarctic lakes with Dr Anne Jungblut at the Natural History Museum, London. After my MSc, I began an internship at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew working on the PAFTOL (Plant and Fungal Tree of Life) Project, which aims to produce DNA sequencing data for all flowering plant and fungal genera.

In October 2017, I commenced a PhD working with Jordi Paps and Ulrike Bechtold at the University of Essex, where I study the major diversification of plant life. I am currently exploring how we can use genome data to investigate the evolution of stress responses in plants, specifically drought tolerance.

Outside of my PhD studies, I am a Plantae Fellow where I regularly summarise the latest research for the plant science community on I am also the city coordinator for Pint of Science Colchester, an outreach festival organised by postgraduate students held in pubs across the world.


  • 2017–present
    PhD Candidate, University of Essex


  • 2015 
    Imperial College London, MSc Ecology, Evolution and Conservation