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Root-rhizosphere Workshop & ISRR Dundee Medal Lecture in Root Research 2018

Dundee Roots Group

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 from 14:00 to 17:45 (BST)

Root-rhizosphere Workshop & ISRR Dundee Medal Lecture...

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
Register: namebadge, workshop, ISRR Medal Lecture, refreshments 18h 25m Free  
Offer poster for poster session
Please email Dr Jen Brown ( with the poster title.
Ended Free  

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Event Details

Meeting for all scientists interested in root research and the plant-soil interface, featuring the 2018 ISRR Medal Lecture on Root Research by Liam Dolan FRS, Sherardian Professor of Botany, University of Oxford. 

Registration deadline: Please register asap (by Wednesday 16th May 2018 to offer a poster; by Monday 21st for catering purposes).

The draft meeting programme is listed at the bottom of this webpage, or can be downloaded from the following link

 2018 ISRR Dundee Medal Lecture in Root Research:

Using fossils and genes to understand the development and evolution of plant rooting systems by Professor Liam Dolan, Oxford.

Prof. Liam Dolan has held the Sherardian Chair in Botany at the University of Oxford since 2009, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014. His research uses fossils and genes to understand how roots developed and in the 470-500 million years since plants colonized the land. His lab use fossils to discover the structure of ancient rooting systems and to understand how morphologies evolved. His lab identifies mechanisms controlling cellular development in plants and investigates how these mechanisms evolved in the course of plant evolution. A major discovery was the demonstration that the same genetic mechanism controlled the development of the simple rooting structures on the first land plants and the development of root hairs on the surface of extant vascular plant roots.

Liam originally graduated with a degree in Botany at University College, Dublin. He carried out PhD research on plant developmental genetics in cotton and Arabidopsis at the University of Pennsylvania with Scott Poethig. After 13 years running his own research group at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, he moved to the University of Oxford, where he was Head of the Department of Plant Sciences between 2012 and 2017.  Liam was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization in 2009 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014. He was awarded ERC Advanced grants. He is trustee of the Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2016-2019) and the New Phytologist Trust (2014-2019).


Liam’s laboratory has used a variety of approaches, including palaeontology and genetics, to investigate root evolution and development. This has identified the earliest root known root meristems and described the rooting structures of the earliest tall trees to grow on Earth.  It has also identified the genetic mechanism that controlled the development the rooting structure of the common ancestor of land plants.  Some of these genes discovered in this research may be useful in plant breeding to enhance rooting function.

Acknowledgements: Sponsored by the James Hutton Institute Medal Lecture fund, and the Scottish Government.


When does the meeting start and finish?

Full meeting programme is available at the bottom of this webpage and


 What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

When you arrive at the James Hutton Institute at 14:00, please go directly to the meeting in the New Seminar Room (Building E) to pick up your name badge. We have arranged extra parking spaces to be reserved for the meeting, opposite the Stores block (please follow signposts). The James Hutton Institute (follow link for detailed directions) is in Invergowrie, on the Western edge of Dundee. Invergowrie is served by bus numbers X53 and 16 (Dundee bus timetables are all online), and has a small station (but far fewer trains than Dundee station which is 10-15 min by taxi).

 How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please email Dr Jen Brown ( with any queries relating to meeting administration, including offers of posters.

 Is my registration/ticket transferrable?

If you are unable to attend, but a colleague wishes to do so instead, please just drop us an email to let us know the new details, and let us know when you turn up at the registration desk.

 Can I update my registration information?

Yes, by email.

 Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No. We will have a printed list of attendees,so you don't need to bring your tickets along.

 The name on the registration/ticket doesn't match the attendee. Is that okay?

Yes, that is okay.

Wednesday 23rd May 2018, The James Hutton Institute, Dundee DD2 5DA

14:00     Arrival and registration – please go directly to New Seminar Room, which will be signposted.

First Session (New Seminar Room):

14:10   Welcome. Glyn Bengough (The James Hutton Institute & University of Dundee)


Chair Paul Hallett (University of Aberdeen)

14:15     Senga Robertson (The James Hutton Institute)

“Getting to the root of it: Why do root hair mutations displace the Barley rhizosphere Microbiota?”

14:30     Triona Acamovic (University of Aberdeen)

"A Buried Herbicide Method for Screening Rooting Depth in Wheat"


14:45     Teng Liang (University of Dundee)

Roots and vegetation reinforcement of rainfall induced landslides, using centrifuge modelling"

Second Session (New Seminar Room, then DG main corridor):

Posters & Pico talks.  Chair Blair McKenzie (The James Hutton Institute)

15:00     Quick poster outline presentations (1 slide each x 1 minute, up to 8 posters)

15:15     move downstairs for posters

Poster Session with tea/coffee at 15:30  (Ground floor D-block main corridor)

Final Session (Canteen) Chair: Philip White (The James Hutton Institute)

16:15     2018 ISRR Dundee Root Medal Lecture: Professor Liam Dolan FRS (Oxford).

                “Using fossils and genes to understand the development and evolution of plant rooting systems”

17:15     Presentation and photo Chair: Glyn Bengough. Followed by Reception in Canteen

17:45     Disperse

Do you have questions about Root-rhizosphere Workshop & ISRR Dundee Medal Lecture in Root Research 2018? Contact Dundee Roots Group

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When & Where

The James Hutton Institute
DD2 5DA Dundee
United Kingdom

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 from 14:00 to 17:45 (BST)

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Dundee Roots Group

Email contact for meeting administration: Dr Jen Brown (at The James Hutton Institute;

Meeting organisers: Glyn Bengough (James Hutton Institute & University of Dundee), Tim George, Blair McKenzie, Philip White, Paul Hallett (University of Aberdeen)

  Contact the Organiser

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