Fay Walsh


Prior to starting my PhD I completed my undergraduate degree in plant science at the University of Edinburgh, investigating the effects of mechanical stress priming on barley growth for my final year research project. My studies incorporated an Erasmus exchange to Sweden where I studied plant and evolutionary biology at Uppsala University with a 3-month research internship at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). I am an alumnus of the Gatsby Plant Science and the John Innes Centre International Undergraduate summer schools. 

Research interests

I am interested in root system architecture, gravitropism, cereal root systems and gene editing. My PhD project focuses on genes with the potential for altering root growth angle and other aspects of root system architecture and transforming these genes into crop plants. Root system architecture describes the distribution of plant roots and is important for determining nutrient uptake as specific nutrients are found in different regions of the soil profile. Recent research from our group has identified Arabidopsis mutants with novel mutations in genes regulating root growth angle. The aim is to build on these findings through gene editing of wheat and other crop species to demonstrate the effects of these novel mutations.


  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Plant Science) University of Edinburgh