Dr Alexis Moschopoulos

Department for Lifelong Learning

University Tutor- Foundation Programme

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+44 114 2227000

Full contact details

Dr Alexis Moschopoulos
Department for Lifelong Learning
Edgar Allen House
241 Glossop Rd
S10 2GW

I moved to the UK to study for a BSc in Plant Science at Aberystwyth University. Here I became fascinated with genetics so I moved to the John Innes Centre in Norwich for an MSc in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology. Here I stayed for a PhD in molecular genetics where I discovered a role for the chloroplast in developmental signalling pathways that control leaf shape. I then moved to industry to develop a method of reprogramming wheat pollen cells into viable embryos to accelerate wheat breeding programs. Wanting to return to academia, I then came to Sheffield for a postdoctoral position investigating the genetics of host resistance to a parasitic plant that causes devastating crop losses throughout sub-Saharan Africa. 

After the postdoc I started a company to develop my idea for a new type of plant growth chamber, a technology that plant scientists use to grow plants under controlled environmental conditions. At my company, called Grobotic Systems, we received a large Innovate UK grant to support our research and development program and have sold our chambers to universities and biotechnology companies around the UK. Finally, missing being in a community of learning and teaching, I joined the Department of Lifelong Learning in the summer of 2023 as University Tutor in Natural Science and Biology. Through Grobotic Systems I continue to develop technologies for growing plants at home and educational resources for growing plants in schools. 


BSc Plant Science (Aberystwyth University)

MSc Plant Breeding and Biotechnology (John Innes Centre)

PhD Plant Developmental Genetics (John Innes Centre)

Research interests

My current interests include developing technologies for growing plants at home and in schools. I am also fascinated by genetics and molecular biology and in trying to develop teaching resources to share my enthusiasm in these subjects to a wider audience. I am very keen to learn more about different theories and styles of learning and teaching.

Teaching activities

ACE0352 Introduction to the Natural Sciences

ACE0354 Foundations of Biology (Core)

ACE0340 Academic Literacy and Communication Skills


*Wright, H.C., *Fountain, L., *Moschopoulos, A. et al. (2023) Space controlled environment agriculture offers pathways to improve the sustainability of controlled environmental agriculture on Earth. Nature Food 4, 648-653 (*joint first author) 

*Wright, H.C., *Moschopoulos, A. and *Fountain, L. Design of low cost, open-source prototype plant growth chambers for evaluating crop suitability for space environments. Acta Horticulturae. 1369, 141-148 (*joint first author) 

Moschopoulos, A., Derbyshire, P., and Byrne, M.E. (2012) The Arabidopsis organelle-localized glycyl-tRNA synthetase encoded by EMBRYO DEFECTIVE DEVELOPMENT1 is required for organ patterning. Journal of Experimental Botany 63 5233-5243 

*Szakonyi, D., *Moschopoulos, A., and Byrne, M.E. (2010) Perspectives on leaf dorsoventral polarity. Journal of Plant Research 123 281-290 (*joint first author)