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School of the Biological Sciences


Molecular biology allows scientists to study biological phenomenon at the level of atoms, molecules and cells. Commonly used in health and disease research, scientists in Cambridge are harnessing modern biological techniques to transform our understanding of climate change and accelerate much needed solutions in this area.




Collaboration and Engagement

The potential of molecular biology for delivering innovative solutions to climate challenges remains untapped; this omission risks pushing the planetary ecosystems beyond their tipping points. A recent white paper, prepared in the context of COP26 and edited by Organisms, Evolution and Ecology Theme Leads Beverley Glover and Kiran Patil, outlines the enormous opportunities offered by molecular life sciences to contribute solutions to the climate crisis.

To build momentum and seed ideas for climate change research amongst molecular life scientists in Cambridge, the Organisms, Evolution and Ecology Theme organised an in-person workshop across different areas of climate change, supported by the climate initiative Cambridge Zero. Speakers spanned 7 Departments: Plant Sciences, MRC Toxicology, Pathology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Zoology and Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. We look forward to facilitating new innovations and collaborations on the topic of climate change. Members of the University can find out more on the School Information Hub.


people in a room with screen at the back      people in a room with screen at the back

Molecular Biology for Climate Solutions workshop, Downing College, March 2022

Work with us

We welcome opportunities to collaborate with industry partners, policy makers and academics. If you are interested in working with us, please contact Dr Abi Herrmann, Research Strategy Facilitator.

Key Publications

Harnessing molecular biology to accelerate the Green Recovery

White paper, EMBL

Molecular biology for green recovery - A call for action

Rodríguez-Martínez M, Nielsen J, Dupont S, Vamathevan J, Glover BJ, Crosswell LC, et al. (2022) Molecular biology for green recovery—A call for action. PLoS Biol 20(4): e3001623.

3D-printed hierarchical pillar array electrodes for high-performance semi-artificial photosynthesis

Chen, X., Lawrence, J.M., Wey, L.T. et al. 3D-printed hierarchical pillar array electrodes for high-performance semi-artificial photosynthesis. Nat. Mater. (2022).

Academic Leads

Beverley Glover

Plant Sciences/ Botanic Garden

Kiran Patil

MRC Toxicology Unit