About the Project
To tackle these questions requires a truly interdisciplinary approach at the interface between the Life and Earth Sciences. The Molecular Palaeobotany and Evolution Group (https://www.ed.ac.uk/biology/groups/hetherington), based in the Institute of Molecular Plants Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, provides the ideal place to investigate the origin and evolution of the phloem. Using the extensive living plant collections at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh you will make predictions about how the structure of the phloem has changed through evolutionary time. Next, you will use the fossil record to test these predictions . Using new 3D imaging techniques  of fossils in the collections at the National Museums of Scotland, including fossils from the world famous Rhynie chert deposit , the key features that define phloem will be identified. Finally, using molecular biological approaches and comparative genomics and transcriptomics in the Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, the evolution of the genetic toolkit of the phloem will be uncovered . Taking these complementary interdisciplinary approaches you will shed new light on phloem evolution.
This project will provide an extensive training in evolutionary techniques spanning both living and fossil plants as well as molecular and omics approaches and is suitable for a candidate from either a Life or Earth Sciences background.
The School of Biological Sciences is committed to Equality & Diversity: https://www.ed.ac.uk/biology/equality-and-diversity
How to Apply:
The “Institution Website” button will take you to our Online Application checklist. Complete each step and download the checklist which will provide a list of funding options and guide you through the application process.
 Hetherington AJ, Dolan L. 2018. Stepwise and independent origins of roots among land plants. Nature. 561: 235–238. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0445-z
 Hetherington AJ, Emms DM, Kelly S, Dolan L. 2019. Gene expression data support the hypothesis that Isoetes rootlets are true roots and not modified leaves. bioRxiv. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/2019.12.16.878298
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