cassonsDr Stuart Casson

Lecturer


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.

Funding
2019-2023 Leverhulme Trust; Investigating the origin and evolution of stomata (Lead PI, Prof Alistair Hetherington, Bristol; Sheffield lead, Dr Stuart Casson)
2019-2022 Leverhulme Trust; Elucidating metabolic control of photosynthetic membrane structure (PI Dr Matt Johnson; Co-I Dr Stuart Casson)
2019-2022 BBSRC; Improving water use and accelerating breeding pipelines in Mexican avocado (PI Dr Stuart Casson)
2016-2019 BBSRC; Photoreceptor optimisation of plant water use (PI Dr Stuart Casson)

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

Plant biology, development, signaling, genetics and molecular biology

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
MBB346 Genetic Pathways from Zygote to Organism

Level 2 Modules

MBB262 Genetics 2

Level 1 Modules

MBB161 Genetics 1

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

Chapters

  • Lindsey K, Mehdi S, Casson SA, Mudge AJ, Topping JF & Liu J (2013) Chapter 8 POLARIS, Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides (pp. 40-45). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Aalen RB, Abdel-Wahab YHA, Adams ME, Adan RAH, Ahima RS, Ahmed N, Al-Massadi O, Altstein M, Anouar Y, Anselmi L , Ansorge S et al (2013) Contributors, Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides (pp. xvii-xlix). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Adams ME, Ait-Ali D, Allen SD, Altstein M, Amiche M, Anouar Y, Anselmi L, Ansorge S, Antcheva N, Appel JR , Arimura A et al (2006) Contributors, Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides (pp. xix-xxxviii). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • LINDSEY K, CASSON SA & CHILLEY PM (2006) CHAPTER 5 The POLARIS Peptide, Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides (pp. 23-27). RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers