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Dundee Roots Group: Workshop & 2018 ISRR Medal Lecture in Root Research

23 May 2018, 2pm to 5:45pm
at James Hutton Institute, Dundee
for scientists, students and other interested parties
Roots (c) James Hutton Institute

This one-day event organised by the Dundee Roots Group and held at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee, is aimed at scientists interested in root research and the plant-soil interface and will feature the 2018 ISRR Medal Lecture on Root Research by Liam Dolan FRS, Sherardian Professor of Botany, University of Oxford.

Liam’s laboratory has used a variety of approaches, including palaeontology and genetics, to investigate root evolution and development. This has identified the earliest root known root meristems and described the rooting structures of the earliest tall trees to grow on Earth.  It has also identified the genetic mechanism that controlled the development the rooting structure of the common ancestor of land plants.  Some of these genes discovered in this research may be useful in plant breeding to enhance rooting function. 

Prof. Liam Dolan has held the Sherardian Chair in Botany at the University of Oxford since 2009, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014. His research uses fossils and genes to understand how roots developed and in the 470-500 million years since plants colonized the land. His lab use fossils to discover the structure of ancient rooting systems and to understand how morphologies evolved. His lab identifies mechanisms controlling cellular development in plants and investigates how these mechanisms evolved in the course of plant evolution. A major discovery was the demonstration that the same genetic mechanism controlled the development of the simple rooting structures on the first land plants and the development of root hairs on the surface of extant vascular plant roots.

Liam originally graduated with a degree in Botany at University College, Dublin. He carried out PhD research on plant developmental genetics in cotton and Arabidopsis at the University of Pennsylvania with Scott Poethig. After 13 years running his own research group at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, he moved to the University of Oxford, where he was Head of the Department of Plant Sciences between 2012 and 2017. Liam was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization in 2009 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014. He has been awarded ERC Advanced grants. He is a trustee of the Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2016-2019) and the New Phytologist Trust (2014-2019).

For a full event programme and details on how to book, please visit the event page on Eventbrite. More information is available from Dr Jennifer Brown, James Hutton Institute.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.