Tom Thirkell

Tom Thirkell

Research interests

My research interests concern the impact of the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis on plant nutrient uptake, metabolism and growth, especially in crop plants. I have a special interest in sustainable crop production and the sustainable intensification of agriculture. As a BBSRC postdoctoral fellow in the Field lab, I am investigating drivers of functional diversity in the symbiosis, i.e. the extent to which crop plants benefit from being mycorrhizal. Specifically, my project tests how plant genotype dictates growth response to colonisation and the degree of nutritional benefit from the fungi. My project also investigates the impact of atmospheric CO2 concentration on the symbiosis, examining the role of AM fungi in plant nutrition under future projected climate conditions.

I use a combination of physiological, molecular and metabolomic techniques to investigate nutrient trade between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and crop plant symbionts.


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


  • PhD Mechanistic Biology
  • MBiolSci Biology

Research groups and institutes

  • Plant Science
  • Crop science, genetics and physiology - Post doctorates
  • Plant-soil environment interaction - Post doctorates
  • Sustainable agriculture - Post doctorates