Edinburgh Plant Science

Karen is Director of Edinburgh Plant Science (EPS) an initiative that brings together plant and social scientists to solve complex problems that reflect the needs of our world today. A current focus is to determine impact of climate change on ecosystem and crop resiliance. EPS partners include: the Schools of Biological Sciences, Engineering and GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh, The Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics, The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, Scotland’s Rural College, The Forestry Commission and Heriot-Watt University.

We have a range of on-going projects and student centred activities that are advertised on the EPS website.


The Predictive Plant  provides an example of a current EPS project

This EPS project aims to understand, model and predict how climate change affects plant growth, vitality and yield to underpin better stewardship of managed ecosystems towards sustainable food production globally. To accomplish this we have assembled Edinburgh’s world-class expertise in modelling, environmental signalling, climate-ecosystem interactions, precision imaging, remote observation and high performance computing to build a truly unique capability we have called ‘The Predictive Plant.’

Figure 1. Working across scales

Predictive Plant operates at different scales (Figure 1) to deliver an in-depth, interconnected vision of how plants respond to their environment. We have detailed insights into the underpinning metabolic pathways and, more importantly, the very molecular processes that integrate different environmental influences. At the field scale, we use aerial and satellite imaging methods to monitor plant growth across landscapes in near real time.

EPS PIs Karen Halliday, Alistair McCormick, Mat Williams, Sotirios Tsaftaris , are leading this project

Check out the Phenotiki: Phenotyping in a box, developed by Sotirios Tsaftaris