Matt Jones, PhD


My research seeks to understand how plants perceive and respond to changes in their environment, with the ultimate goal of using this knowledge to promote stress tolerance in crop plants.

To achieve this we are using traditional molecular biology techniques in combination with high-throughput sequencing methods to characterize a novel circadian component with a freezing tolerance phenotype. I am also using confocal imaging techniques to evaluate changes in stress signaling pathways over the course of a day.



Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UC Davis, USA
Supervisor- Prof. Stacey Harmer
The circadian clock acts to optimise the cellular behaviour of an organism so that it corresponds with the predictable environmental variation induced by the diurnal cycle. I identified and characterised additional components of the plant circadian clock which will provide further insight into the workings of the central oscillator.


PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Glasgow, UK
Supervisor- Prof. John Christie
My graduate studies focused upon the plant blue light photoreceptor phototropin. Phototropin light sensitivity is derived from the action of two highly conserved regions known as LOV domains which upon light absorption induce activity of an integral serine/threonine kinase. My project examined the mechanism by which the LOV domains regulate kinase activity. I was able to show that the introduction of a point mutation within the second LOV domain was sufficient to mitigate light-mediated phototropin kinase activation. Thesis text


B.A. Biological Sciences, The Queen's College, University of Oxford, UK

Awards and Scholarships


Leverhulme Early Career Fellow Leverhulme Trust


UC Davis "Professors for the Future" Fellow UC Davis


Keystone Symposia Scholarship to attend 'Histone Code: Fact or Fiction?' Keystone Symposia


NAASC Travel Grant to attend ICAR 2010 NAASC


Sainsbury Plant Science PhD Studentship Gatsby Charitable Foundation


Michel Exhibition The Queen's College