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Cambridge Global Food Security

A Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge

 

Dr Matthew Davey

Dr Matthew Davey

Senior Research Associate, Department of Plant Sciences


Office Phone: 01223 333943

Biography:

Dr Matt Davey is a plant physiologist and chemical ecologist at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge.  His key interests are in understanding the diversity of metabolism in natural ecosystems and controlled environments and how such knowledge can be translated for innovation purposes by collaborating with industrial partners involved in bioenergy and natural high value products.

Dr Davey has recently set up a new spin off company, Phytofutures, to expand into these markets. 

Dr Davey is currently working on a large EU project (EnAlgae) to study algal growth in North West Europe and is overseeing the construction of a new Algal Innovation Centre at Cambridge University. 

Dr Davey collaborates with the British Antarctic Survey to study the growth and chemical composition of terrestrial algae and other plants within the Antarctic environment.

2013 – present: Post-Doctorate Research Associate, University of Cambridge, UK

  • EnAlgae (EU INTERREG IVB North West Europe programme)
  • Large scale cultivation and metabolic analysis of industrially relevant micro-algae

2009 – 2012: Post-Doctorate Research Associate, University of Cambridge, UK

  • Major-industry funded research on lipid productivity in algae for biodiesel production

2008-2009: Post-Doctorate Research Associate, University of Sheffield, UK

  • Wellcome Trust award to study variants of the pathogenic bacteria Campylobacter

2005-2008: Post-Doctorate Research Associate, University of Sheffield, UK

  • Investigated the mechanisms of distribution of plants growing at their range margin
  • Identified metabolic phenotypes of individual populations of Arabidopsis lyrata spp. petraea grown in controlled and field environments

2003-2004: Assistant Scientific Officer, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bangor, UK

  • Elemental and stable isotope analysis of field samples for C and N sequestration studies
  • Investigated metabolic variation in two natural systems; N deposition and uptake in upland grasslands and the elemental controls of leaf decomposition.

1999-2003: PhD in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (NERC CASE studentship)

1Durham University, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham, UK
2
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Bangor, UK

  • Thesis title: The effect of an elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration on secondary metabolism and resource allocation in Plantago maritima and Armeria maritima     

1995-1998: II (i) BSc. (Hons) Biology, University of Wales, School of Biological Sciences, Bangor, UK

  • Research Project: Effect of Nitrogen Oxides on Deschampsia flexuosa

University of Umeå, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå, Sweden (1997)

Lecturing

2013-present:   Graduate School of Life Sciences (University of Cambridge):

Introduction to metabolomics http://training.csx.cam.ac.uk/gsls/event/686351

2010 – present: Undergraduate lecturing (University of Cambridge):

Dr Davey lectures in the ‘Frontiers in Plant Metabolism’ module for part II (year 3) undergraduates and in the Part IB (year 2) Cell and Developmental Biology practical course on organelle inheritance patterns in unicellular algae.

He also supervise Natural Science Tripos students for the part IA (year 1) Physiology of Organisms course and the part IB (year 2) Plant and Microbial Sciences course.

Current Academic Service

Committees and Memberships

2012-present: University of Cambridge, Departmental Representative – Carbon Reduction Board

2010 – present: Research Associate of Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge http://www.corpus.cam.ac.uk/

2009 - present: Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield

2007 – present: Plant Environmental Physiology Group (British Ecological Society) - secretary

2004 – present: British Ecological Society (BES) – Meetings Committee

1999 – present: Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) – British Ecological Society (BES)

Peer reviewing

Associate editor of Methods in Ecology and Evolution:

Associate editor of Conservation Physiology:

Associate editor of the International Journal of Life Sciences:

Outreach

Plant Environmental Physiology Group (British Ecological Society) - secretary/steering committee

Subject groups/Research projects

Plant Biology and Food Security:

Departments and Institutes

Department of Plant Sciences:

Research Interests

Dr Davey's key interests are in understanding the diversity of metabolism in natural ecosystems and controlled environments and how such knowledge can be translated for innovation purposes by collaborating with industrial partners involved in bioenergy and natural high value products.

He is currently working on a large EU project (EnAlgae) to study algal growth in North West Europe and is overseeing the construction of a new Algal Innovation Centre at Cambridge University.

He has recently been awarded a number of business innovation and interaction grants from NERC and BBSRC and plant and algal bioenergy and technology. 

He also collaborates with the British Antarctic Survey to study the growth and chemical composition of terrestrial algae and other plants within the Antarctic environment.

Key Publications

2009 - present: University of Sheffield, UK Co-supervising PhD student, Rachel George with Prof. Robert Freckleton: Metabolomics of coastal plants. http://www.shef.ac.uk/aps/apsrtp/aps-rtp-2010/george-rachel/index.html