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Professor of Plant Biology, University of Sheffield

Colin is Professor of Plant Biology, and Associate Director at the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield, a new initiative which aims to build a global community of sustainability leaders through its PhD programme, and to help connect sustainability research at the university with ongoing policy debates.

Colin‘s research investigates the causes of physiological differences among plant species. He is particularly interested in the differences in photosynthesis and growth, since the growth of photosynthetic organisms provides the energy for almost all life on Earth. Two questions are especially important for this work:

How have evolutionary innovations increased the productivity of wild species?
And how did domestication by humans boost the productivity of our crop plants?

Work in these areas is multi-disciplinary, spanning global analyses, investigations across evolutionary and archaeological timescales, experiments comparing multiple species, and analyses of plant genomes.


  • –present
    Professor of Plant Biology, University of Sheffield