Professor Elizabete Carmo-Silva

Professor of Crop Physiology

Research Overview

Elizabete is an expert on the regulation of carbon assimilation by Rubisco in crop plants, especially wheat and cowpea. She leads a research team that aims to understand and improve the efficiency of photosynthesis to optimise the sustainability and climate resilience of crop production.

She received her undergraduate degree in applied plant biology at the University of Lisbon, where she went on to earn her PhD researching photosynthesis and photorespiration in C4 grasses. She specialized on the regulation of Rubisco by its molecular chaperone Rubisco activase as a postdoctoral researcher with the USDA-ARS, then started exploring this knowledge for crop improvement as a research scientist at Rothamsted Research. She joined Lancaster University in 2015 to start a research group that focuses on Rubisco regulation in crops.

Photosynthesis Team

Elizabete is one of several group leaders within the Photosynthesis team at the Lancaster Environment Centre.

Research Projects

Her research group is funded through the RIPE project, CAPITALISE, PhotoBoost, and Delivering Sustainable Wheat.

Administrative Roles

She is the LEC Director of Postgraduate Research Programmes, and the Lancaster University partner lead for the BBSRC-funded NorthWestBio Doctoral Training Partnership.


She teaches in the second-year undergraduate module Research Design and Delivery (Bioscience courses) and supervises research projects by undergraduate and postgraduate students.


Available funded positions for joining Elizabete’s group are always advertised on the Photosynthesis team website. Enquiries by prospective doctoral and postdoctoral researchers are welcome, either for the advertised positions or to apply for a scholarship or fellowship. A strong motivation to advance the understanding of Rubisco regulation, be part of a team, and contribute to enhance the sustainability and climate resilience of agricultural crop production is essential.

BBSRC Institute Strategic Programme: Delivering Sustainable Wheat (DSW) Partner Grant
01/04/2023 → 31/03/2028

ENGBIO21: Plant microcompartment engineering for green production
15/02/2023 → 14/02/2024

RIPE III : Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency for Sustainable Increases in Crop Yield
01/01/2023 → 31/12/2026

RIPE Bridging Funds Tranche 1 (Income Only)
01/09/2022 → 31/12/2022

Combining Approaches for Photosynthetic Improvement to Allow Increased Sustainability in European Agriculture
01/01/2022 → 30/11/2024

01/09/2020 → 31/08/2025

IWYP - Induction: Faster Adjustment of Photosynthesis to shade-sun transitions in the field to improve wheat yields
15/05/2018 → 14/05/2022

IWYP Call 2: Manipulating Stomatal Blue Light response in wheat to improve productivity
01/04/2018 → 31/03/2022

Realising Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE2)
01/09/2017 → 31/03/2023

N8 : Delaying Turnover of Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate cardoxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) as a novel mechanism to enhance wheat yeilds.
01/05/2017 → 31/10/2018

Bilateral NSF/BIO-BBSRC Synthesis of Microcompartments in plants for enhanced carbon fixation
01/12/2016 → 30/09/2021

15-IWYP Wider and faster: high-throughout phenotypic exploration of novel genetic variation for breeding high biomass and yield in wheat
01/03/2016 → 30/09/2019

15-IWYP Using Next Generation Genetic Approaches to Exploit Pheotypic Variation in Photosynthetic Efficiency to Increase Wheat Yield
01/02/2016 → 30/09/2019

15-IWYP Realising increased photosynthetic efficiency to increase Wheat Yields
01/01/2016 → 30/09/2019

Exploiting a Cyanobacterial CO2 concentrating Mechanism to increase Photosynthesis and Yield
01/01/2016 → 30/06/2019

Combining field phenotyping and next generation genetics to uncover markers, genes and biology underlying drought tolerance in wheat
16/09/2015 → …

Realizing increased photosynthetic Efficiency for sustainable increases in Crop Yield
01/09/2015 → 31/10/2017

Optimising Rubisco activation to improve photosynthesis in wheat
01/01/2015 → 31/12/2017

  • Plant and Crop Science