The Richard Smith group’s research uses mathematical and computer simulation techniques to investigate questions in plant development.
Working in close collaboration with experimental biologists, they develop cellular-level simulation models of hormone signalling and patterning in plant tissue. These models involve a biochemical aspect, genes, proteins, hormones, combined with growing, changing geometry as cells divide and tissues grow.
The group are interested in the interaction between these two processes. How genes control physical properties of cells resulting in growth, and how the resulting change in geometry and physical forces feeds back on signalling and gene regulation.
With this in mind, they are researching methods to quantify mechanical properties in plant tissues, to facilitate the construction of biophysically based simulation models of plant growth.
The Dr Richard Smith group are always looking for motivated students, interns and postdocs that are interested in applying their skills to questions in plant development and simulation modelling.