Richard is a plant biologist whose research aims to understand how genes control various agriculturally important traits in plants. He has published widely in this area and has held numerous research grants from Marsden and MBIE. Richard completed his undergraduate and PhD studies in the Biochemistry Department at Otago. He then worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the John Innes Centre, an international centre of excellence in plant science in the UK, before returning to Otago to establish his research group.
Much of Richard’s research has focused on discovering the genes that enable plants to flower in response to seasonal cues, such as winter cold and the increasing day length of spring. When a plant flower determines when it produces its fruit or grain, therefore understanding the genetic basis of this trait can aid the breeding of crops better suited to local environmental conditions. To achieve this, Richard and his colleagues work closely with researchers from the Crown Research Institutes and plant breeding companies.
This lecture will be followed with light refreshments, tea, coffee & juice.