The mechanics of shape change in plants
Understanding biology requires knowledge of the physical nature of the cellular constituents of living organisms. Plants contain specialised pairs of cells which form pores (stomata) which have the ability to open and close to allow gas flux into and out of the leaf. We are interested in understanding how the mechanical structure of the cell wall sets the dynamic properties of the system. We are looking for a PhD student with an interest in applying advanced Atomic Force Microscopy techniques to quantifying the mechanics of these living cells and, using mathematical approaches, developing models to link the physics of the material to biological function.