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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences
(023) 8059 2030

Professor Matthew J Terry BSc, PhD

Deputy Head of school (Research & Enterprise), Professor of Molecular Plant Biology,Principal Investigator: Chloroplast development and function

Professor Matthew J Terry's photo

Matthew J Terry is Professor of Molecular Plant Biology within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Career History

2018-present: Deputy Head of School (Research and Enterprise). University of Southampton, UK.
2013-present: Professor of Molecular Plant Biology. University of Southampton, UK.
2009-2013: Reader in Molecular Plant Biology. University of Southampton, UK.
2005-2009: Senior Lecturer in Molecular Plant Biology. University of Southampton, UK.
2002-2005: Lecturer in Molecular Plant Biology. University of Southampton, UK.
1995-2002: Royal Society University Research Fellow. University of Southampton, UK.
1993-1995: Frontier Researcher. Laboratory for Photoperception and Signal Transduction, RIKEN, Japan.
1990-1993: Post-doctoral Research Fellow. University of California, Davis, USA.

Academic Qualifications

1990: PhD Biology. University of Southampton, UK.
1985: BSc Biochemistry. University of Southampton, UK.

2016: Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
2003: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research interests

Photosynthesis provides the only significant source of new, utilisable energy to the planet. For land plants and all algae photosynthesis takes place in a specialised organelle called a chloroplast. My primary research area is focused on determining how the development and function of chloroplasts is regulated, with a particular interest in retrograde signalling between the chloroplast and nucleus. Work on fundamental research questions is primarily undertaken in the model plant Arabidopsis and we are applying our knowledge to understanding chloroplast function in marine algal biofuel systems.

PhD Supervision

Sylwia Kacprzak 
Bethany Ellis
Ben Sibbett
Harry Jackson (OES)
Adam Dorey
Ellie Kirby
Tania Garcia-Becerra

Research group

Plants and Food Security

Affiliate research groups

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)

Research project(s)

Improving solar conversion efficiency in marine microalgae

Solar energy conversion efficiency during photosynthesis has been identified as a critical factor in determining productivity in mass algal cultures. This project aims to improve this efficiency by manipulation of light-harvesting antenna size using a range of molecular genetic approaches applied to marine algae.

Plastid-to-nucleus signalling in plants

Plastid-to-nucleus (retrograde) signalling provides critical information to the nucleus on the developmental state of the chloroplast (plastid) during chloroplast biogenesis. We are trying to uncover the nature of these signals and determine the role of tetrapyrroles in this signalling pathway.

Light regulation of chloroplast development and tetrapyrrole synthesis

This projects aims to understand the signalling pathways regulating chloroplast development with a focus on the synthesis of the tetrapyrrole, chlorophyll. Current work is examining phytochrome and gibberellin signalling in the model plant Arabidopsis and wheat, a major crop plant.

Physiological function of the GTG/GPHRs, a highly conserved family of eukaryotic membrane proteins

Is there a conserved function for the GTG/GPHR family of membrane proteins?

Are GTGs a new class of plant anion channels regulating pH in the endomembrane system?

Given the significant sequence similarity between members of the GTG/GPHR family, we are testing whether the GTG/GPHR family has a conserved physiological function in diverse organisms.

Elucidating the mode of action of a novel nematicide on plant parasitic nematodes

Tapping the Unused Potential of Photosynthesis

Module Co-ordinator

BIOL2002 Cell Biology


BIOL2002 Cell Biology
BIOL2007 Plant Development and function
BIOL3003 Plant Cell Biology
BIOL3051 Applied Plant Biology
BIOL3058 Bioscience Business
BIOL3060 Science Communication
BIOL6013 Advanced Research Project

Professional Contributions

Deputy Chair, Plant Section Committee, Society for Experimental Biology.
Member of BBSRC Pool of Experts
Member of the Royal Society International Exchanges Committee.
Member of the Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship Committee
Editorial Board member for Scientific Reports.
Sainsbury Undergraduate Mentor for Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Professor Matthew J Terry
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 85/6057

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