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Professor in Plant-Soil Processes, University of Sheffield

I have two key research interests. The first is plant-fungal symbioses and their applications in sustainable agriculture. Today, it is estimated that more than 80% of land plants, representing over 90% of plant families, form nutritional symbioses with soil-dwelling fungi. My research aims to expand our understanding of these symbioses with important applications in sustainable agriculture.

I'm also interested in the evolution of plant-fungal symbioses, and in particular how the biotic and abiotic environments interact to drive plant evolution and the development of the terrestrial biosphere. This key question underpins my research into the interactions between ancient land plant lineages and symbiotic soil fungi. Plant-fungal symbioses date back to when plants first colonized Earth’s landmasses more than 475 million years ago, and we are only just starting to understand the diversity, structure and physiological function of the relationships between early branching lineages of land plants and their symbiotic fungi. My research aims to shed new light on the role fungal symbionts may have played in the development of Earth’s ecosystems.


  • –present
    Associate Professor in Plant-Soil Processes, University of Leeds