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Dr Rob Herbert

Head of Applied Sciences

Institute of Science & the Environment

Contact Details


tel: 01905 85 5215


PhD Plant Cell Biology (Cardiff, 1991)
BSc Biotechnology (Kings, London, 1988)
HND Biotechnology (UWE Bristol, 1986) 

Teaching & Research

Teaching & Research

Current Teaching
Plant Breeding and Gene Technology (HORT3001)
Genetics and Gene Technology (BIOS2001)
Aspects of Forensic Science (BIOS3020)
Project and Integrative Assignment (FDFS3002)
Horticulture and Biology Independent studies in Plant Cell/Molecular Biology and in Forensic Science

PhD Supervision - past students
Dr Ilario Siciliano: Effect of plant wee1 on the cell cycle and development in Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum (2006).

Dr Sam Harding: Inflorescence development in Allium ampeloprasum var. Babingtonii (Babington’s leek) (2004).

Dr Craig Orchard: The relationship between programmed cell death and the cell cycle in the tobacco BY-2 cell line (2004).

Dr David Parfitt: A study of glucose signalling and gene expression in early flower development in the short-day plant Pharbitis nil (Japanese morning glory) (2003).

Dr Helen West: Competing divalent cations in biological systems (2001).

Dr Gemma Allnutt: Characterisation of a LEAFY homologue, a gene regulating floral meristem identity, from the model long-day plant Silene coeli rosa (2000).

Dr Mike Morris: Studies in the behaviour of a nitrifying vertical flow constructed wetland wastewater treatment system (1999).

Dr Simon Durdan: Studies on floral determination in the short-day plant, Pharbitis nil and the long-day plant Silene coeli rosa (1998).

Current Students:

Anne Lentz: Regulation of the cell cycle and stress responses in Arabidopsis through 14-3-3 proteins (jointly with Cardiff University).

Natasha Spadafora: Studies on Arath;CDC25 a putative regulator of the plant cell cycle (jointly with Cardiff University).

Research Interests
Molecular and cell biology of flowering
Plant cell and molecular biology including the plant cell cycle in the tobacco BY-2 cell line
Professional Bodies

Professional Bodies

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Member of the Institute of Biology
Member of the International working group on flowering


Allnutt, G.V., Rogers, H.J., Francis, D. and Herbert, R.J. (2007) A LEAFY–like gene in the long day plant, Silene coeli-rosa is dramatically up-regulated in evoked shoot apical meristems but does not complement the Arabidopsis lfy mutant. Journal of Experimental Botany 58 2249-2259.

Orchard, C., Siciliano, I., Sorrell, D.A., Marchbank, A., de Marschal, C., Pearton, M., Rogers, H.J., Francis, D., Herbert, R., Suchomelova, P., Lipavska, H. and Van Onckelen, H. (2005)

Tobacco BY-2 Cells expressing fission yeast CDC25 bypass the G2/M block on the cell cycle. The Plant Journal 44 290-299.

Parfitt, D., Herbert, R.J., Rogers, H.J. and Francis, D. (2004) Differential expression of putative floral genes in Pharbitis nil shoot apices cultured on glucose compared with sucrose. Journal of Experimental Botany 55: 2169-2177.

West, H.K., Morgan, A.J., Bowker, D.W., Davies, M.S. and Herbert, R.J. (2003) Possible Evidence for Interpopulation Differences in the Life History Parameters of Adult and F1 Generation Lumbricus rubellus. PEDO BIOLOGIA 47 535-541.

Orchard, C.B., Evett, C., Herbert, R.J., Davies, M.S., Rogers, H.J. and Francis, D. (2003) Effect of ethylene on cell mortality during the cell cycle in the TBY-2 cell line.  In Biology and Biotechnology of the Plant Hormone Ethylene III, p 335 Published Conference papers from the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Biology and Biotechnology of the Plant Hormone Ethylene (2002: Murcia, Spain).

Herbert, R.J., Vilhar, B., Evett, C., Orchard, C.B., Rogers, H.J., Davies, M.S. and Francis, D. (2001) Ethylene induces cell death at particular phases of the cell cycle in the tobacco TBY-2 cell line, Journal of Experimental Biology 52 (361) (2001) 1615-1623.
University Roles & External Responsibilities

University Roles & External Responsibilities

University Roles
Programme Leader for Biological Sciences
Head of Applied Sciences

External Responsibilities
Link tutor for Horticulture at Pershore College (a member of Warwickshire Colleges)