John Innes Centre
Caroline received her latest ERC Advanced Grant in 2019. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular controls used by plants to judge when to flower. She is specifically interested in vernalisation — the acceleration of flowering by exposure to periods of prolonged cold. This system is enabling the basic mechanisms of environmentally regulated gene expression to be explored.
The ERC Advanced Grant is allowing Caroline to explore the molecular details of how plants sense and remember cold exposure – this will provide important information for manipulating plant processes generally and enable a future generation of crops which are adapted to climate change.
She is working with a theoretical modelling team in the John Innes Centre and a structural biology team at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. She has published a number of papers and presented at many conferences as well as established collaborations with international researchers based in Madrid, Vienna and China.
On the value of ERC funding, Caroline said:
"The ERC Advanced Grant has allowed us to explore the molecular details of how plants sense and remember cold exposure. The ability to manipulate the molecular controls used by plants to monitor their environment will open the door to a future generation of crop plants adapted to a changed climate."