Dr Zhe (Luke) Ji

Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences and Zoology

Academic position: Calleva Postdoctoral Researcher


I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate based in the Department of Biology and affiliated with the Calleva Research Centre at Magdalen College. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford in Biological Sciences. Subsequently, I obtained my DPhil degree and continued my research as a postdoc with Prof. Nicholas Harberd, during which we elucidated the evolutionary trajectory of the interaction specificity between two key components of the phytohormone gibberellin signalling pathway in land plants. I also have a longstanding collaboration with Nanjing Agricultural University in China, for which we investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying differences in root system architecture and nitrogen use efficiency among rice subspecies, with the aim of improving future crop yields while minimising fertiliser input. Currently, I am working with Prof. Lars Østergaard, working on understanding how and why the pea plant (Pisum sativum) produces a chlorinated form of the plant hormone auxin during pod development. The ultimate goal of this project is to enhance pea pod development and apply the acquired insights to improve the cultivation of other legume crops.