Prof Giles Johnson BSc, PhD


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Post doctoral fellowships: No postdoctoral positions are currently available.  If you are interested in applying for your own source of funding, though an international fellowship etc. please get in touch (

PhD positions: Funded postions for UK and EU students are advertised annually.  Applications are welcomed from students with their own sources of funding.  If you with to apply for funding and require an offer from the University of Manchester for your applicaiton, please get in touch (

We would especially like to encourage interest from students wishing to work on the following projects:

Acclimation of Plants to Light and Temperature.  When plants are exposed to changes in their environment, they go through a process of acclimaiton, changing the composition of their tissues to match the environment.  Recent work in our lab has shown a central role for leaf carbon metabolism in sensing and signalling environmental conditions to control acclimaiton.  We have identified mutants in both light and temperature sensing and oppurtunities are available to characterise this.  One project available would involve characterisation of Arabidopsis plants with alterations in the expression of a putative amylase enzyme, BAM5.  This project would provide training in plant physiology, metabolomics, proteomics and metabolic modelling.

Source sink relations in winter crops.  In temperate regions many crops, such as wheat, barley and oil seed are grown through the winter.  Changing climates are expected to result in this part of the growth season becoming more important in determining final yields.  This project will look at the role of source:sink relations in limiting winter growth with a view to identifying novel targets for crop breeding. This project will provide training in plant physiology and metabolomics.

Role of the Plastid Terminal Oxidase in stress tolerance in plants. Plastid teminal oxidase is a plastoquinone oxidase found in all plants.  In some extremophile species it is suggested to play a role in protecting plants from environmental stress.  Previously we provided evidence that this protein is important in the salt tolerant model plant Eutrema. More recently we have preliminary evidence for a role in barley under drought stress.  A project on this topic would provide training in in vivo spectroscopy, plant physiology, protein biochemistry and molecular biology.

PhD opportunities