University of Oxford

janeProfessor Jane Langdale Jane is Professor of Plant Development at the University of Oxford, and is the current coordinator of the C4 Rice Project. Her research focuses on how developmental mechanisms changed during the evolution of land plants. In the context of C4 rice, this relates to understanding how Kranz anatomy develops in C4 plants and then using the knowledge gained to engineer leaf anatomy and chloroplast differentiation in rice. She is an elected Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization and Fellow of The Royal Society.

SteveDr Steve Kelly Steve is a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. His group uses bioinformatic, computational and experimental approaches to understand the genetic regulation of photosynthesis in both C3 and C4 plants, with a particular focus on grass species. He is particularly interested in understanding how the regulation of photosynthesis has changed during plant evolution, and aims to use this knowledge to engineer photosynthesis in crop plants. His group provides bioinformatics and computational support for all members of the C4 Rice Project.

DanaDr Daniela Vlad Dana is a postdoc in the Langdale Lab. She obtained a PhD in Plant Biology from the Paris-XI University, France and a Masters in Horticultural Genetics and Biotechnology from MAICh (Crete), Greece. Her interests lie in understanding the genetic basis of developmental mechanisms in plants. Since joining the C4 Rice Project she has become our Golden Gate cloning guru – changing the way, and the speed with which, we generate constructs for rice transformation. Her research is focused on testing our current hypothesis of how Kranz anatomy develops in the leaves of C4 plants.


Dr Basel Abu-Jamous Basel is a postdoc of bioinformatics in Steve Kelly’s group. He obtained his PhD in bioinformatics from Brunel University London. He is particularly interested in the analysis of collections of transcriptomic datasets, which he has already applied to areas related to bacteria, yeast, human breast cancer, and human blood. Since joining the C4 Rice project in July 2016, his aim has been to analyse the various existing and emerging relevant transcriptomic, and other omic, datasets in order to understand genetic regulatory networks and programmes underpinning the differential development of leaves with C4 photosynthesis and Kranz anatomy.


Tom Hughes Tom is currently a PhD student at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Jane Langdale and Steve Kelly. He obtained his Bachelors degree in Natural Sciences, specialising in Plant Sciences, from the University of Cambridge. His research involves characterization  of a number of putative regulators of Kranz anatomy, through gain of function experiments in rice and loss of function experiments in maize. He is a member of the Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership in Oxford, and is a recipient of a Newton Abraham Scholarship.


OlgaOlga Sedelnikova Olga is a post-doc in Jane Langdale’s group. She obtained a PhD from the University of Oxford investigating potential developmental regulators of Kranz anatomy through in situ hybridisation in maize and rice leaf primordia, and through gain of function experiments in rice. She is continuing this work in her post-doc and also investigating the role of auxin and cytokinin during Kranz development.




Emily SewardEmily Seward Emily is currently a PhD student in Steve Kelly’s group. She obtained her BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and then spent a year gaining lab experience in the US. Her research investigates nitrogen footprints in genome sequences to determine how metabolism impacts on genome evolution. Her research is contributing to the C4 Rice Project through the analysis of nitrogen footprints in C3 versus C4 genome sequences. Emily is a member of the Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership in Oxford, and is funded by the BBSRC.

PengPeng Wang Peng is a postdoc in the Kelly Lab. He obtained his PhD in Plant Biology from Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research interests include genetic regulation of photosynthesis, C4 leaf development and chloroplast differentiation, and how to apply this knowledge in crop engineering. He is currently focusing on dissection of the transcriptional regulatory network that underpins photosynthesis in monocot plants, including C3 and C4 species, which aims to contribute to improving photosynthesis in cereal crops.