Humans rely on plants for almost every aspect of our life, including obtaining oxygen, food, fuel, clothing and shelter. Yet, plant science is often not seen as relevant to modern life and plant science research is still perceived as a ‘dry’ subject over medicine. In present times, our world is challenged by global warming and climate change. Plants are at the centre of mitigating the climate crisis and to overcome severe shortages in food, agricultural land and water resources imminent within the next 1-2 decades. For a sustainable future, plant science research to understand how plants grow and respond to their environment is fundamentally important. This work is also essential for informing crop enhancements and predicting behaviours of plants in withstanding climate change.
In the plant science group at the University of Glasgow, Karnik and Blatt labs study how plants grow and respond to endogenous and environmental cues, such as hormones, pathogens and CO2, carry out mathematical modelling of plant behaviours and test how molecular components in plants can be manipulated to enhance plant growth efficiencies. This work is reflected in the discovery of new molecular mechanisms for plant stomatal responses, growth and immunity detailed in several publications in highest impact journals in the field.