Liam Dolan is furthering our understanding of the development of plants by dissecting the genetic mechanisms that control this programme of cellular growth and differentiation. Using model systems, both at the whole-plant and cellular level, Liam is examining how these mechanisms have evolved since the emergence of land plants over 400 million years ago.
His particular interest lies in the root system of plants and he was the first to define the cellular body plan of the Arabidopsis root. Liam also showed that while the genes controlling the development of root systems are ancient, the way that these genes regulate each other has changed over time.
Liam is using his findings to improve the efficiency of nutrient uptake in crops, enabling increased yields and the improved sustainability of future agriculture. In recognition of his significant discoveries, Liam was awarded the President’s Medal of the Society for Experimental Biology in 2001 and elected a member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) in 2009.
Interest and expertise
Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
Developmental biology, Genetics (excluding population genetics)
Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
Agricultural and forest science, Evolution, Plant sciences / botany