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TIGR2ESS: Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies

A Global Challenges Research Fund project


Tracy Lawson is a professor in the Plant Productivity group and Director of Plant Phenotyping at Essex, with over 25 years’ experience in photosynthesis research. She is also Deputy Head of School, Director of Essex Plant Innovation Centre, Director of Impact and Plant Group Convenor. She obtained her first degree in Applied Biology in 1993 from Liverpool and PhD from Dundee in 1997. Following postdoc positions in Dundee and Nottingham, Tracy moved to Essex in 1999 as a Senior Research Officer and, following a visiting fellowship at ANU, Australia, obtained a permanent research position at Essex in 2007 and was made Professor in 2016. 


Tracy currently runs a group of 5 PDRAs, 6 PhD and 1 MSc students and two technicians. A major focus of the group’s research is stomatal control of atmospheric gas entry into the leaf, associated water loss and the mechanisms that regulate this process. Recent research has paid particular attention to stomatal kinetics and the impact of dynamic environments on both photosynthesis and stomatal behaviour. She also has funding to explore lighting regimes for indoor growth environments and quantifying the impact of non-foliar photosynthesis on crop yield. Another main strand of her research is plant phenotyping including chlorophyll fluorescence techniques (for quantifying light use and photosynthetic efficiency) and thermal imaging (for measuring stomatal responses and kinetics). Lawson’s lab developed the first imaging system for screening plant water-use-efficiency (McAusland et al., 2013). 


Professor, School of Life Sciences. University of Essex.
Not available for consultancy