Self-funded PhD- Re-engineering Golgi dynamics in plants – investigating the role of myosin receptors

University of Bristol

The growing global population requires the development of novel strategies to sustainably increase food production. Organelle movement is dynamic and linked to changes in cell size, plant biomass and in response to factors which affect food production such as pathogens (Perico and Sparkes, New Phytol. 2018; Ryan and Nebenführ, Plant Physiol 2018). Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms which drive and regulate organelle movement is poor, as is our understanding as to how movement affects cell growth. The project will identify the molecular components which drive organelle movement, more specifically the Golgi. By mutating the identified molecular tools, we will then be able to re-engineer Golgi movement and determine how changes in movement affect cell size. The project will provide training in plant imaging, cell biology, molecular biology, molecular biochemistry and plant physiology. Imaging techniques will likely include confocal microscopy and optical tweezers. The supervisory team consists of Dr Imogen Sparkes (main supervisor) and Prof Claire Grierson (second supervisor) at the University of Bristol, and Dr Mike Deeks (external supervisor) at the University of Exeter. The project will be based at the University of Bristol within the plant group, which comprises multiple groups working on diverse topics ranging from cereal genomics to how plants respond to external stimuli (


How to apply 

Before applying, please read carefully the information on the prospectus Biological Sciences Study at Bristol University of Bristol and make sure you have all the documents listed in the Entry Requirements – Admissions Statement and English Language Requirements.  

To apply, follow the link Start your application Study at Bristol University of Bristol and select the programme “Biological Sciences (PhD)”.

If you have questions about the project, please contact Dr Imogen Sparkes at 

Dr Imogen Sparkes – Our People (

If you require assistance with your application, please email  

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email – cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this posting.

Job Location