Dr Tom Bennett

Dr Tom Bennett


I am a plant geneticist and developmental biologist, working in both fundamental and applied contexts.

Research interests

Systemic coordination of plant development

My lab is focussed on understanding how long distance signalling within the plant body allows their growth and development to be precisely regulated in both space and time. Plant shoot and root systems are shaped in response to range of environmental stimuli, including soil nutrient status and light availability. For instance, the degree of shoot branching in plants is strongly sensitive to both nitrate and phosphate levels in the soil – indicating long distance communication between the root and shoot system. A small number of hormonal signals, including auxin, cytokinin and strigolactone are implicated in the systemic coordination of plant development, both within root and shoot systems, and between them. We use a wide range of approaches, anchored by molecular genetics, to try and dissect these signalling mechanisms, and to understand how such a simple set of signals can allow such precise control of development at a whole plant level.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Bsc Biology, University of Leeds
  • PhD Biology, University of York

Research groups and institutes

  • Plant Science
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/2010-triple-whammy---breeding-wheat-for-increased-winter-growth-rate">Triple whammy - breeding wheat for increased winter growth rate</a></li>