Dr Rhiannon PageResearch Associate
My research aim is to develop crop plants that will deliver higher yields and contribute to global food security. Evidence suggests that the best prospect for increasing genetic yield potential is to improve the conversion of sunlight into biomass i.e. the efficiency of photosynthesis. Some photosynthetic organisms have evolved CO2 concentrating mechanisms to boost the CO2 supply to Rubisco, the key enzyme determining photosynthetic rate. Using knowledge and tools from these organisms, we are hoping to develop wheat plants with enhanced photosynthetic performance and increased yield.
The majority of my research has been in plant development, genetics and molecular biology. I have worked on the following projects using the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana: ‘Determinants of seed size and yield’, ‘The regulation of biological signalling by temperature’ and ‘Increasing wax production’. I have also been lucky enough to spend an interesting 11 months in a medical research laboratory investigating the genetics of nystagmus, a paediatric eye disease. At Lancaster, I am now returning to plant science and am excited to have the opportunity to work with wheat, Triticum aestivum, a major crop species that supplies around 20% of humanity’s calories and protein.
2016-present: Research associate, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK
2015-2016: Research technician, Southampton General Hospital, University of Southampton, UK
2011-2012: Research technician, College of Life and Environmental Science, University of Exeter, UK
2005-2009: PhD in plant molecular biology, University of Bath, UK
2001-2005: First class Undergraduate Masters in Biology (MBiol), University of Bath, UK
My degree included a one year industrial placement within the Insect and Nematode Control Traits Team at Syngenta, Jealott's Hill, Bracknell, UK.