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School of the Biological Sciences

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The vision of the Department of Plant Sciences is to ensure that their high-quality discovery science contributes to tackling fundamental challenges in Global Food Security, Growing a Sustainable Bioeconomy, and Protecting the Environment.

Based on the Downing Site in central Cambridge, they host around 24 research groups, whose long-term aim is to contribute to the four global challenges of the departmental vision. Their research encompasses the breadth of plant and microbial biology, from the molecular to the ecological. They use cutting-edge techniques in imaging, gene expression and bioinformatics and pair these with physiological evaluations, often including computational and modelling approaches.

The Department contributes to all years of the Natural Sciences Undergraduate courses and offers high-level research and training opportunities in the areas of plant and microbial science to Postgraduate students. The Department of Plant Sciences also has close links with the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge Botanic Garden, the Herbarium and is one of the partners of the newly established Crop Science Centre.

Lean more about the Department of Plant Sciences.

Crop Science Centre


The Crop Science Centre is a coalition between the University of Cambridge, Department of Plant Sciences, and NIAB. This coalition focuses on translational research in crops with real-world impact. The Centre combines the diverse skills and expertise of the University and NIAB, providing an environment for research excellence with the capability to apply discoveries to crop improvement in the field.

Their research is interdisciplinary and of global relevance. They strive to improve both staple crops such as maize, wheat and rice, but also the specific crops of relevance to small-holder farmers, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Centre provides leadership in crop sciences, with a creative and dynamic research culture, motivated by improvement of agriculture for the betterment of society.

Learn more about the Crop Science Centre.

Wider Impact

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Protecting global food production and woodland environments

Learn how Cambridge and its partners make a positive impact around the world.

Head of Department:

Professor Julian Hibberd

Departmental Administrator:

Catherine Butler