My main research interests focus on the elemental nutrition of plants, combining research into plant physiology, elemental nutrition and genetics. In crop systems, many of the elements required for plant growth are supplied as inorganic fertilisers, which have economic and environmental costs if not used appropriately. Much of my work concentrates on phosphorus, a non-renewable element. Over 80% of mined phosphorus is used in the production of food, most of which as fertilisers for crop production. Optimising the use of phosphorus will improve food security and mitigate negative environmental impacts of fertiliser overuse on local watercourses.
Using molecular biology, plant physiology, and genetics, I have lead and contributed to projects investigating the regulation of plant elemental composition and plant responses to nutrient deficiencies and toxicities, collaborating closely with Prof. Philip White (The James Hutton Institute) and Dr Martin Broadley (Rothamsted Research).