Enid MacRobbie is a biophysicist who studies ion transport within plants. Her particular interest lies in stomata — the pores through which oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapour are exchanged between the plant and the surrounding environment. Enid’s research has helped to explain how stomata close — to regulate gas intake and conserve water — through the loss of potassium ions from the guard cells that surround them.
She is also known for her early work with giant algae, determining the ionic compositions of both their cytoplasm and vacuoles, along with the fluxes of major ions across the plasma membrane and the membrane that surrounds the vacuole. This work provided the first application of isotope efflux analysis in plants.