cassonsDr Stuart Casson

Lecturer

Room: E7b
Tel: 0114 222 4235
Email: s.casson@sheffield.ac.uk

Research

Research Precis

fig1My laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms that regulate plant development and in particular, how environmental signals regulate core developmental pathways. For this purpose I am using stomatal development as a model. Stomata are microscopic pores on the surface of leaves that regulate gas exchange between the plants and their environment, allowing the uptake of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis whilst restricting water loss. This ability to control their gas exchange has allowed plants to colonise a number of environments and was arguably a crucial evolutionary step in the colonization of the land by higher plants.

I welcome applications from prospective home / EU / overseas PhD students and post-doctoral fellows.
Contact me at s.casson@sheffield.ac.uk for further information.

Research Keywords

Structural biology, electron microscopy, cryoEM, X-ray crystallography, bacteriology

Research In Depth

fig2

My laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms that regulate plant development and in particular, how environmental signals regulate core developmental pathways. For this purpose I am using stomatal development as a model. Stomata are microscopic pores on the surface of leaves that regulate gas exchange between the plants and their environment, allowing the uptake of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis whilst restricting water loss. This ability to control their gas exchange has allowed plants to colonise a number of environments and was arguably a crucial evolutionary step in the colonization of the land by higher plants.

fig3

Stomata can regulate plant gas exchange through short term changes in stomatal aperture. However, my research is focused on a longer term mechanism whereby plants adapt to changes in their environment by regulating their stomatal development, resulting in new leaves with altered stomatal numbers. Light and CO2 are particularly important in regulating these changes in stomatal development and we are beginning to identify the key components that regulate stomatal development in response to these signals. Understanding how these environmental signals interact to regulate stomatal development is vital if we are to accurately model plant water use and performance in a changing environment

Teaching

Level 3 Modules

MBB304 Plant Biotechnology

Level 2 Modules

Joining the lab

Career History

  • 2013 - present: Lecturer; Dept. of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield
  • 2007 - 2013: Postdoctoral Research Assistant; University of Bristol
  • 2000 - 2007: Postdoctoral Research Assistant; Durham University
  • 1996 - 2000: PhD; Durham University

Honours and Distinctions

  • 2008 Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology (FESPB) Young Scientist Award

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers