Dr Philip Carella

Group Leader Advancing Plant Health (APH)

Understanding the Origin, Evolutionary History, and Diversity of Plant Defences.

Plants colonised land over 450 million years ago and have since diversified into key lineages that evolved important traits related to plant architecture, reproduction, and physiology. In comparison to these key life history traits, our current understanding of how plant immunity evolved over this period is poorly resolved.

The Carella group’s research aims to better understand how the diversity of land plants defend against pathogen infection. To achieve this, they are establishing a curious, enthusiastic, and innovative team that will explore the diversity of defence responses through comparative macroevolutionary analyses and molecular genetic approaches.

Using evolutionarily insightful models (Marchantia polymorpha, Selaginella moellendorffii, and Arabidopsis thaliana among many others), the Carella group will investigate widely-conserved and lineage-specific aspects of plant defence that will inform future efforts to protect plants from harmful pathogens.