Raul joined the Institute in late 2020 as a Plant Biochemist/Molecular Physiologist. His training combines a BSc in Biochemistry, an MSc in Biochemical Sciences, another in Agricultural Science, and a PhD in Plant Sciences. With two decades of experience supporting efficient and sustainable agriculture, his multidisciplinary research integrates plant physiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry approaches in both plant model species and crops.

Facility Manager at the Advanced Plant Growth Centre (APGC)



Academic (discovery-oriented) research interests:

Understand how plants respond and adapt to the environment. Determine the biological processes affected and what mechanisms help to alleviate them.

  • Responses to reduced soil nutrients | Overcoming limitations
  • Responses to environmental stresses | Avoidance and tolerance mechanisms
  • Light requirements to sustain plant photosynthesis and growth
  • Food quality traits associated with crops’ physiological status

Applied (goal-oriented) research interest:

  • Identify the optimal environmental conditions (light recipes, nutrients, etc.) that improve plant performance and enhance crops’ nutritional value for human consumption/industry. Get the most outcomes with minimal inputs.”
  • Harness crop germplasm/genotypes to identify the best physiological and molecular traits under controlled environment agriculture (CEA) conditions. The most suitable  for what is needed!”

Current Projects:

“Machine learning for identifying leaf reflectance proxies for rapidly deriving crop photosynthetic parameters”. Hutton Seedcorn (2023-2024) Principal Investigator (PI).

“Light Pulsing in Vertical Farming For Sustainable Fresh Produce – LightPuls-VF” Industrial Partner – Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd. BBSRC-UKRI-PACE (2024-2027). Co-PI.

“Exploiting Controlled Environments for the Development of Optimised Cannabis Sativa Phenotypes for Pharmaceutical Applications – CE-CannPharm”. Industrial Partner – GlassPharms Ltd. BBSRC-UKRI-PACE (2024-2028). Co-PI.


Past research

“Upscaling adoption and exploitation of a wide diversity of Iron and Zinc-rich beans by rural populations in Africa – ZIRON Pulse”. BBSRC-UKRI project