Prof Richard Morris
Programme Leader (Plant Health)
Computational and Systems Biology
Richard’s research uses mathematical modelling and computational approaches to solve problems in biology.
Much of Richard’s research focus is on signalling, building models to explain the data and make predictions which can be tested experimentally.
Richard develops models and associated software to explain how plants transfer a signal through the plant following an environmental cue, to initiate developmental changes.
His research also helps to investigate flowering time, plant-microbe interactions and biomechanical processes.
- Mathematical modelling to understand biomechanical processes
- Revealing potential signalling processes using modelling techniques
- Understanding plant-microbe interactions
Plants can undergo striking developmental changes in response to biotic stimuli. The group are interested in how the signaling and information flow is established between plants and microbes and in particular how the subsequent mechanical and developmental changes are coordinated.
They employ mathematical and computational methods to help understand plant-microbe interactions.
Main themes include calcium oscillations (1) and plant biomechanics (2)
1 - Legumes enter mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships with microbes to aid their nutritional demands. Calcium oscillations have been shown to be key for the activation of developmental changes associated with both bacteria and fungi. They wish to understand how these important signals and encoded and decoded
2 - Stomata are pores formed by specialised cells on the leaf epidermis through which plants acquire carbon dioxide, release oxygen and evaporate water. Plants close stomata in the presence of pathogens to prevent infection. The group wish to understand how plants control this biomechanical closure
Plant Cell 28 p610-5
Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.15.00956
PLoS ONE 9 pe88419
Publisher’s version: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088419
Plant Cell 25 p820-33
Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.113.109355
Plant Physiology 160 p2300-2310
Publisher’s version: 10.1104/pp.112.205682
Plant Cell 24 p192-201
Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.111.093849
Current Biology 27 p2974-2983.e2
Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.006
Plant Journal 91 p1029-1037
Publisher’s version: 10.1111/tpj.13624
Plant Journal 92 p5-18
Publisher’s version: 10.1111/tpj.13640
Bioinformatics Sep 22 2016 p1-3
Publisher’s version: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btw611
BMC Systems Biology 10 p55
Publisher’s version: 10.1186/s12918-016-0289-9
- Dr Jitender Cheema Senior Scientist
- Matthew Evans Postgraduate Student
- Marc Jones Postgraduate Student
- Dr Nick Pullen Postgraduate Student
- Dr Teresa Vaz Martins Postdoctoral Training Fellow
- Dr Hugh Woolfenden Postdoctoral Scientist
For media enquiries, please contact the JIC communications team 01603 450962, firstname.lastname@example.org