Dr Sam Amsbury

School of Biosciences

Discovery Fellow


Full contact details

Dr Sam Amsbury
School of Biosciences
  • BBSRC Discovery Fellow, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK (2020-present)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cell Wall Biochemistry, School of Biology, University of Leeds, UK (2016-2020)
  • PhD in Plant Molecular Biology, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK (2012-2016)
Research interests

My research focuses on understanding how plant cell walls are assembled and maintained. Cell walls are incredibly complex polysaccharide networks that have crucial roles during plant development, including the regulation of cell expansion and plant growth. I am particularly interested in understanding how different components of the cell wall interact at a biochemical level and how these interactions impact plant growth and physiology.

Cell wall and stress responses

It is known that cell wall composition changes in response to various biotic and abiotic stresses but very little is known about the genetic architecture underpinning these responses. A major focus of my work is using advanced glycomic techniques to characterise cell wall compositional responses to a range of abiotic stresses that plants encounter during growth. By combining glycomics with genomics my research aims to identify and characterise novel genes controlling cell wall composition to enable targeted modification of cell walls.

Cell wall biomass as a renewable resource

Cell walls are among the biggest sources of biomass on the planet and their potential for use as a renewable resource is huge. Cell walls can be fragmented into small subunits and then reassembled by fermentation to create a large range of low carbon chemicals and biomaterials. This fragmentation and re-assembly is complex and energy intensive. By using classical genetics and modern glycomic profiling my research aims to identify novel cell wall processing genes that can simplify this cell wall fragmentation.


Journal articles