Dr Alistair McCormick

Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences and SynthSys, University of Edinburgh

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Dr Alistair McCormick is a Group Leader in the Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences and SynthSys at the University of Edinburgh. He holds an MSc from the University of Stellenbosch and a PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which he gained while at the South African Sugarcane Research Institute. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and John Innes Centre before joining Edinburgh in October 2013 as a Chancellor’s Fellow in plant molecular physiology and synthetic biology.

Alistair’s lab works on fundamental and applied aspects of photosynthesis and growth in higher plants and micro-algae. His research focuses on i) finding novel ways to improve the efficiency of photosynthetic carbon capture in plants using synthetic biology approaches, ii) exploiting photosynthesis in micro-algae to generate secondary products and iii) developing tools for dynamic phenotyping of plant growth architecture and performance. Current work includes engineering an algal carbon concentrating mechanism into higher plants, building gene control circuits in cyanobacteria to regulate production of high value pigments, and developing low-cost 3D plant imaging systems (within the Edinburgh Predictive Plant consortium; http://predictiveplant.uk/).