University of Dundee

CLS plant scientists introduce Braeview Academy students to the fascinating world of molecular plant research and crop science

07 May 2014

Students from Braeview Academy will visit the James Hutton Institute (JHI) in Invergowrie on May 8th to be introduced to the fascinating world of plant sciences. The S3 biology pupils will meet staff and students from the College of Life Sciences’ Division of Plant Sciences and the James Hutton Institute who will guide them through a variety of activities in the Institute's impressive glasshouses. Activities for the day include DNA isolation and gel loading, exploring plant pathogens through microscopy and root printing. The students will also plant crops in the Living Field and take a tractor tour around the grounds.
Dr. Sarah McKim of the University of Dundee’s Division of Plant Sciences, who coordinated the visit said, “We’re delighted to give these students a hands-on experience in the plant and agricultural science that we do here in Dundee. Working alongside our scientists, students will get the chance to isolate plant DNA, see plant infection under the microscope, conduct a barley field study and get a personal tractor tour of the farm. 

“Visits like these are an invaluable opportunity for students to learn about the research that supports Scottish farming success and about potential careers in plant sciences. This event represents a continuation of the strong ethos of science outreach within the Division of Plant Sciences. I’d like to thank the James Hutton Institute for their support and the Mains of Loriston Charitable Trust for funding.”
The College of Life Sciences runs a continuing programme of school activities for students from Braeview Academy in which pupils work with researchers from a wide range of subject areas and learn about the different careers available to them in the life sciences.
About the Division of Plant Sciences

The College of Life Sciences’ Division of Plant Sciences was established in 2007, creating an internationally recognised centre for molecular plant science, increasing understanding of genes and processes underpinning important plant traits (yield, disease resistance, stress tolerance, developmental characteristics, end-use quality). 

The Division has eleven PIs and is supported by external funding from BBSRC, EU, industry and others. It is located at the James Hutton Institute on the outskirts of Dundee with whom the College has a long-standing strategic partnership supported by five joint appointments, substantial collaborative external funding and PhD studentships. The partnership brings together discovery-based molecular plant science investigating fundamental questions of plant biology, with scientists with knowledge of applied research in crop species including front-line crop and pathogen genomics, genetics and cultivar production.