Karen Halliday

Image of Karen Halliday
Professor of Systems Physiology and Director of Edinburgh Plant Science
University of Edinburgh

Karen obtained her PhD at Leicester University and completed a postdoc at the Plant Gene Expression Center, Berkeley, USA, before establishing her own lab at the University of Bristol. Now based the University of Edinburgh she studies how local and seasonal changes in the environment alter plant growth, vitality and health.  In 2007-2013 she led the £6M BBSRC-EPSRC interdisciplinary ROBUST project that produced seminal work on network robustness to temperature, as well as generating biological material and data infrastructure resources for the scientific community. She collaborates widely, and currently leads three large research projects, two of which are trans-continental. Working with theoreticians Karen has developed a suite of mathematical models that scale from molecular to whole plant level, and include the ability to predict seasonal and temperature impacts on plant growth rate and biomass. Her on-going research activities focus on: environmental impacts on resource partitioning and plant architecture; development of fast throughput screening; and gene editing approaches to improve crop resilience to abiotic and biotic stress. She directs the Edinburgh Plant Science Consortium, is a University ambassador for Equality and Diversity, sits on Ascus (art-science) advisory board and is a member of the Biology REF panel for Hong Kong Universities.