Alison smith

Post - Reader

Cambridge University Address

Department of Plant Sciences
University of Cambridge
Downing Street, Cambridge.
CB2 3EA. United Kingdom.

Main research topics

Alison smith is interested in understanding the tetrapyrrole pathway and the synthesis of vitamins in higher plants. The tetrapyrrole pathway, which is responsible for the synthesis of chlorophyll, haem, sirohaem and phytochromobilin is regulated to ensure the coordination of apoprotein production. Vitamin B5 is the precursor of Coenzyme A; along with Chris Abell, Alison's group has solved the crystal structure of four E. coli enzymes. Her work involves the investigation into the relationship of CoA biosynthesis and its regulation.

Selected publications

Ottenhof, H.H., Ashurst, J.L., Whitney, H.M., Saldanha, S.A., Schmitzberger, F., Gweon, H.S., Blundell, TL., Abell, C. & Smith, A.G. (2004) Organisation of the pantothenate (vitamin 85) biosynthesis pathway in higher plants. Plant Journal 37:61-72.

Lobley, C. M. C., Schmitzberger, F., Kilkenny, M. L., Whitney, H. M., Ottenhof, H. H., Chakauya, E., Webb, M. E., Birch, L. M., Tuck, K. L., Abell, C., Smith, A. G. and Blundell, T. L. (2003) Structural insights into the evolution of the pan tothenate-biosynthesis pathway. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 31: 563-571.

Edmund Tanner

Post - Senior Lecturer

Main research topics

Edmund Tanner is interested in analysing factors that limit tropcal growth such as water, temperature, light and nutrients. It is of interest to see what effect the removal of leaf litter has upon tree growth; work on this is carried out in Panama. Forest dynamics are also being studied in Jamaca, and the impact of natural events such as hurricanes are being accessed.

Selected publications

Barberis I. M. & Tanner E.V.J. (2005) Gaps and root trenching increase tree seedling growth in Panamanian semi-evergreen forest. Ecology. 86 667-674

Tanner E.V.J., Teo, V.K. Coomes, D.A. & Midgley, J.J. (2005) Pair-wise competition-trials amongst seedlings of ten dipterocarp species; the role of initial height, growth rate and leaf attributes. Journal of Tropical Ecology. 21, 317-328

Tim Upson

Post - Superintendent of Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Main research topics

Tim Upson is interested in plant diversity, plant systematics and conservation. Tim's research in plant systematics is focused on Rosmarinus and Lavandula (family Labiatae). Additionally the conservation and evolution of island plants is also being accessed.

Selected publications

Upson, TM. and Andrews, S.A. (2004). The Genus Lavandula. Botanical Magazine Monograph. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Upson, TM. and Andrews, S.A. (2003). A new species of Lavandula L. (Lamiaceae) from Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. Kew Bull. 58(4).

Alex Webb

Post - Royal Society Research Fellow and Lecturer

Main research topics

Alex Webb is interested in furthering the understanding of how plant cells perceive and process signals to produce responses. By using stomatal cells as a model it is possible to analyse plant cell signal transduction. Circadian rhythms enable plants to measure time; he therefore investigates the underlying mechanisms of guard cell movements caused by circadian regulated cytosolic calcium. Microarray technology is used to further the knowledge of circadium regulation in planta.

Selected publications

Dodd AN, Love, J and Webb AAR (2005) The plant clock shows it's metal: The circadian regulation of cytosolic free Ca2+. Trends in Plant Sciences 10, 15-21

John Love, Antony N. Dodd and Alex A.R. Webb (2004) Circadian and Diurnal Calcium Oscillations Encode Photoperiodic Information in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 16, 956 – 966.

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