Biological Chemistry and In Vitro Research
Undertaking fundamental and applied research on the characterisation, nature and uses of naturally occurring chemicals from plants and fungi.
Our research work is global with a strong focus on enhancing the livelihoods of the marginalised and resource poor.
We study the nutritional and medicinal usage of naturally occurring plant and fungal chemicals, this includes their:
- impact on cognitive behaviour
- influence on biological interactions such as between flowers and pollinators
- enhancing of bee health through their effects on gut parasites of bees and provision of key nutrients
- evolution of biosynthetic pathways
- in vivo effectiveness as human medicines, for example, wound treatments in Papua New Guinea
- molecular modes of action using yeast chemical genetics
- application in environmentally benign pest control such as the use of botanical insecticides
We also investigate symbiotic interactions of mycorrhizal fungi and plants to enhance the propagation and conservation of rare plant species in the UK particularly orchids.
Harmful or healthy? Studying how chemicals in nectar and pollen affect bees
Can diseased bees take advantage of these antimicrobial chemicals and self-medicate?
Evaluating sustainable agro-ecological crop protection using pesticidal plants
Developing plant-based pest management technologies for legumes and crops.
The macronutrient regulation of adult worker honey bees
Identifying how bees regulate protein and lipids in their diets.
Optimising by-products from Croton megalocarpus seed oil extraction
Chemically investigating the by-products of Croton megalocarpus oil (CMO) extraction to determine antifungal, anticancer and antimalarial properties.