Photo of Dr James Hartwell

Dr James Hartwell Ph.D., B.Sc. (Hons)

Senior Lecturer in Plant Metabolism Functional and Comparative Genomics

Biography

Personal Statement

James Hartwell is a senior lecturer in plant metabolism. His interests span the fields of plant molecular biology and biochemistry, and whole plant physiology. The focus of his research is understanding the molecular and biochemical basis for the circadian control of primary metabolic pathways in plants. In particular, he studies the molecular basis for the circadian regulation of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) and has interests in plant responses to abiotic stress. He also has interests in the development of novel non-food crops as biofuel feedstocks suited to seasonally dry lands and the use of the latest plant synthetic biology approaches to re-engineer plant photosynthesis. In particular, his major current research activity is as part of a project funded by the US-Department of Energy, which aims to understand the molecular-genetic blueprint for CAM, and forward engineer a drought inducible CAM system into bioenergy crops such as poplar trees in order to develop more water-use efficient sources of plant biomass that can be used as renewable feedstocks for industrial biotechnology.

Personal Distinctions

  • Using de novo 'omics to elucidate the basis for a complex photosynthetic adaptation (Invitation to Speak, Invited speaker at the Department of Biology, University of York 2015)
  • Using de novo 'omics to elucidate the basis for a complex photosynthetic adaptation (Invitation to Speak, Invited speaker at the Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford 2014)
  • Genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic adventures with CAM (Keynote Speech, Invited speaker at the 34th New Phytologist Symposium, Lake Tahoe, California, USA 2014)
  • Engineering water-use efficiency in plants: functional genomics to synthetic biology in bioenergy feedstocks (Invitation to Speak, Department of Molecular Sciences/ Renewable Energy Centre, University of Nevada-Reno, USA 2014)
  • Emerging model genomes for functional genomics of CAM: Kalanchoë genomes and beyond (Invitation to Speak, Invited speaker at the International Plant and Animal Genome XXII Conference 2014, San Diego, USA 2014)
  • From transcriptomes to genomes and beyond: adding function to de novo genomics data (Invitation to Speak, Invited speaker at the Centre for Biological Sciences, University of Southampton 2013)
  • The draft genome of Kalanchoë fedtschenkoi: a model for CAM (Invitation to Speak, Invited speaker at the C4+CAM Plant Biology 2013 International conference 2013)
  • The draft genome of Kalanchoë fedtschenkoi: a model for CAM (Invitation to Speak, 16th International Congress on Photosynthesis, August 2013 2013)
  • de novo decoding of genomes and transcriptomes to elucidate the functional genomics of complex trait (Invitation to Speak, Joint Liverpool-UNICAMP workshop on 'omics, Campinas, Brazil Oct. 2012 2012)
  • The draft genome of Kalanchoë fedtschenkoi (Invitation to Speak, Invitation to speak at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, USA 2012)
  • The draft genome of Kalanchoë fedtschenkoi: a transformable model system for CAM (Keynote Speech, Botanikertagung: International Botanical Congress of the Berlin Botanical Society 2011)
  • Using RNA-seq to dissect the molecular basis for the circadian optimisation of CAM (Invitation to Speak, International Botanical Congress, Melbourne, Australia 2011)
  • Functional and comparative genomics of Crassulacean acid metabolism (Invitation to Speak, Invited speaker at the Department of Botany, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil 2011)
  • Kalanchoe genomic resources (Invitation to Speak, CAM 2010: workshop on Crassulacean acid metabolism, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama 2010)
  • How do CAM plants fix carbon whilst avoiding drought: using RNA-seq to decipher the molecular basis (Invitation to Speak, Invitations to speak at the SEB annual meeting Carbon and Drought sessions 2010)
  • Crassulacean acid metabolism plants for biofuel from marginal lands (Invitation to Speak, Keystone Symposium "The Future of Biofuels" - Snowbird, Utah, USA 2009)
  • The application of next generation sequencing to understanding the novel biology of non-model plants (Invitation to Speak, Invited seminar, Dept. of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK 2009)
  • Using RNA-seq to decipher the genomic basis for a complex metabolic adaptation of photosynthesis (Invitation to Speak, Invited seminar University of Nevada-Reno, USA 2009)
  • Using RNA-seq to decipher the genomic basis for a complex metabolic adaptation of photosynthesis (Invitation to Speak, Invited seminar Boyce Thompson Research Institute, Cornell University, USA 2009)
  • The application of next-generation sequencing to gene discovery in non-model plants (Invitation to Speak, NESCENT Catalysis meeting, Duke University, USA 2009)
  • Molecular dissection of the circadian coordination of Crassulacean acid metabolism using ultra high- (Invitation to Speak, Conference chair and vice-chair 2008)
  • The merits of adopting Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi as a genomic and transgenic model for CAM research (Invitation to Speak, Conference organising committee 2007)
  • The coordination of central plant metabolism by the circadian clock (Invitation to Speak, Biochemical Society 2005)
  • Molecular dissection of the CAM circadian clock (Invitation to Speak, International Photosynthesis Society 2004)
  • Molecular dissection of the CAM circadian clock (Invitation to Speak, CAM 2004 organizing committee 2004)
  • Does the underlying circadian oscillator which controls the daily CAM cycle have a molecular basis i (Invitation to Speak, SEB 2002)
  • The circadian clock and Crassulacean acid metabolism in Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (Invitation to Speak, CAM 2001 organizing committee 2001)
  • Dissecting the circadian clock which regulates Crassulacean acid metabolism using a molecular geneti (Competitive Fellowship, BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship 2000)

Administrative Roles

  • Research theme champion - represent the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences for the Sustainable Energy Research Theme
  • Research network champion - Food Security Network
  • Plant Sciences Research Group leader

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