- Primary position:
- Director of Research
- Other positions:
- Principal Investigator (Plants & Environment)
PhD ‘Control of leaf growth’, NERC, 1983-1986
Past Appointments: 1990-1999, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, University of Sussex
Professor of Plant Biology, Southampton University
Visiting Professor of Biology, Imperial College, London (2007), to develop expertise in Bioenergy and contribute to teaching in Plant Biology and Biotechnology
Chair of the Vitacress Conservation Trust
Editorial Board ‘Biotechnology for Biofuels’
Editorial Board ‘BMC Plant Biology’
Editorial Board, 'Biofuels'
Subject Editor, Global Change Biology Bioenergy
Research Committee Member, UK Energy Research Centre (2009)
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I have a long standing interest in the use of woody plants as sources of renewable energy for heat, power and more recently for liquid biofuels such as bioethanol – the so called ‘second generation’ bioenergy crops. This includes understanding the genetic basis of yield, developing molecular breeding tools such as markers linked to QTL and deploying functional genomic approaches to investigate traits of interest. Most recently this has involved re-sequencing using Illumina of fifty genotype of Populus nigra and association genetics for traits related to saccharification. For a number of years we have been working on large association populations of Populus nigra and a mapping population of Populus for QTL discovery that was recently extended to over 800 F2 individuals. We are also interested in complete life cycle analysis (LCA) for bioenergy chains and in the environmental impact of these largely unexplored crops.
The research of the Plants and Environment Lab is also focussed on understanding how plants interact with their abiotic environment, in particular, in relation to global environmental change and in developing mitigation strategies to combat the detrimental effects of these changes.
The group is particularly interested in the link between genes and environment and long-term adaptation to rising CO2.
A final strand of research in collaboration with industry has developed on the physiology, genomics and genetics of post-harvest baby salad leaf quality, including phytonutrient quality and anti-cancer properties, resulting in the formation of ‘The Vitacress Research Unit' We are working with breeders to develop baby salad leaves with improved quality and longevity. Our most recent project is linking medical, chemical and plant sciences to improve the anti-cancer properties of watercress.
Personal research pages: www.taylorlab.co.uk
I am a member of The Porter Alliance http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/porterinstitute/about
Major past collaborative projects have included:
Bioenergy from poplar and willow trees (2000 - 2008)
POPFACE (1999 - 2006) (www.unitus.it/euroface)
POPGENICS (2004 - 2008)
Primary research group: Environmental Biosciences
Development of improved perennial non-food biomass and bioproduct crops for water-stressed environments (WATBIO)
Working on three novel non-food crops for bioenergy applications, we are using the latest RNA-Seq and Genome Wide Association Studies to identify genes linked to traits for improved water use efficiency.
Bioenergy is a complex and sometimes controversial subject. This project integrates models of different aspects of the UK bioenergy supply chains across multiple scales. The resulting tool will provide guidance to decision makers about the complex social and environmental impacts of differing bioenergy strategies to aid policy development.
This project explores the potential use of bioenergy crops across GB, looking at feasibility, sustainability implications, and constraints on production opportunities, in relation to current and future demand for energy.
Understanding processes determining soil carbon balances under perennial bioenergy crops.
Utilising Populus to assess the flood tolerance mechanisms in repeated anoxic flooding events.
Improving the properties of Poplar as a raw material for bioethanol production.
Harnessing the Genetic Diversity of Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum) for Improved Morphology and Anti-cancer Benefits: Underpinning Data for Molecular Breeding.
Establish a collection of watercress sourced from around the world and breed watercress that not only has a reduced stem length but is also nutritionally beneficial therefore breed an ‘ideal' watercress cultivar.
Using quantitative genetics and infra-red imaging to improve the sustainability of water use in baby leaf salad agriculture.
This research is exploring the potential for internet technologies & data to help tackle major environmental challenges such as climate change.
Investigating Biochar application as a potential solution to climate change - quantifying the carbon sequester capacity and its effect on plant yield. It has been suggested that biochar could offset up to 12 % of GHG emissions, thus reducing global climate change, but there is limited evidence base on which to make generalisation and EUROCHAR addresses these gaps.
Developing nutritionally enhanced lettuce with improved disease prevention potential.
Using physiology and genetics to investigate adaptation to drought in two populations of Populus.
Modeling the green spaces in two European cities to determine how vegetation can be managed for optium polution mitigation.
The Evolution of Trees as drivers of terrestrial biodiversity
Traits for poplar for bioenergy applications.
Traits for poplar for bioenergy applications
Linking physiology, molecular genetics and genomics to understand and manipulate yield and disease resistance in Populus for biomass and timber across Europe
Using Next Generation Sequencing to understand acclimation and adaption of Plantago lanceolata to a changing environment
Using NGS to investigate novel acclimations and adaptions to elevated atmosphere CO2 in Plantago lanceolata to help explain what the future environment holds for plants.
Using NGS technology and bioinformatics techniques to better understand the implications of drought for soil microbe communities.
TSEC-BIOSYS (2006-2009) A whole systems approach to bioenergy demand and supply in the UK
UKERC (2004-2009) – The UK Energy Research Centre
The main objective of this 2 year project is to develop a way of comparing the impact on ecosystem services of two very different sources of transport fuel - biofuels and petroleum.
Plant Development and Function
Plant water relations, responses to global change including drought and CO2, stomata, leaf and shoot apical meristem development
Global Change Biology
Molecular, physiological, genetic and evolutionary responses of animal and plant systems to the changing environment
Plant Cell Biology
Plant responses to ozone
Professor Gail Taylor
FNES Student Office
Centre for Biological Sciences
Faculty of Natural & Environmental Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Room Number: 85/6057
Telephone: (023) 8059 2335
Professor Gail Taylor's personal home page