Research Group: Plant Ecology
The Plant Ecology Research Group studies positive and negative plant interactions with other plants, insects, and root-associated microorganisms, using basic ecological and evolutionary science to develop applied solutions in plant production and the management of plant communities.
Plants interact with many different organisms in their surroundings and these interactions affect plants’ survival, reproduction and population size.
Research areas in the group include plant defense against herbivores, ecology and productivity of crop mixtures and experimental plant communities, below-ground interactions among crop plants and between plants and associated microorganisms, application of evolutionary theory to agriculture and low-maintenance herbaceous vegetation for urban and suburban green spaces.
- Plant defense against herbivores, including microbe-induced resistance
- Plant-plant interactions, including crop-weed competition and root interactions
- Plant growth, resource allocation and life history
- Functional trait diversity, plasticity and effects on variety mixtures and intercrops
- Application of evolutionary theory to plant production
- MiRA /" a Horizon 2020 ITN/" training 15 PhD students across Europe in Microbe-induced Resistance to Agricultural pests, and its context dependency
- DIVERSify - Designing innovative plant teams for ecosystem resilience and agricultural sustainability DIVERSify) (Grant from Horizon 2020)
- Interactions between a wild crucifer Barbarea vulgaris, herbivores and pathogens
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