Meet the staff

Group Leader

HawesChris Hawes: Professor and Research Lead in the Department of Biological & Medical Sciences. His specialist interest is the study of the flow of membrane and transport of proteins within the endomembrane system in plant cells, currently working on the structure of the cortical ER, ER and Golgi dynamics and the Golgi matrix using confocal microscopy, laser tweezers, FRET/FLIM, TEM and serial block-face SEM. Chris is currently Hon. Secretary of the Royal Microscopical Society and helps edit several journals including Traffic, J.Exp. Bot., J. Microscopy and Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. 


Support Staff


louise 001.jpgLouise Hughes joined the lab in September 20011after a postdoc. in the California Nano Systems Unit, UCLA working on the three dimensional structure of Trypanosomes. She runs the BioImaging Unit in the Department. Louise is an expert in scanning and transmission electron microscopy and specialises in serial block-face scanning electron microscopy. 




Anne Kearns Anne Kearns: Teaching and research technician, and is in charge of plant cell cultures, maintaining cell lines and running the greenhouse. She is involved in all aspects of tissue culture.  Anne also looks after the distribution of DNA constructs and seeds to other groups. 




Research Fellows 


  Anne OAnne Osterrieder: joined the Hawes group in October 2004 as a PhD student and is working on matrix proteins and the biogenesis ofthe plant Golgi apparatus. She has recently been appoiinted Research and Science Communications Fellow in the Faculty and as such runs her own research programme on plant Golgi and is in charge of all the Outreach Programmes within the Faculty.Prior to 

Brookes she completed her degree at the Technical University in Munich on the subcellular localisation of a secondary metabolite pathway in maize.  She is worked on a BBSRC-funded project on plant Golgi matrix and is now continuing this work using optical tweezers to study Golgi-ER interactions. proteins.  


Postdoctoral Research Assistants 


VerevnaVerena Kriechbaumer is a senior postdoctoral research assistant in the Hawes Group. She is working on a BBSRC funded project onthe role of reticulons in the formation of plasmodesmata. In particular she is investigating proteins associated with plasmodesmatal reticulons and other proteins that help shape the ER using proteomics and FLIM/FRET microscopy. This is a collaborative grant with the group of Prof. Karl Oparka at the University of Edinburgh, working closely with the group of Lorenzo Frigerio at Warwick.  Verena and experienced plant biochemist and molecular biologist previous held a BBSRC postdoctoral position at Sheffield Hallam University work on tail anchored proteins of the endoplasmic reticulum. 




MaikeMaike Kittelmann is a senior postdoctoral research assistant in the Hawes group since August 2014. She is an electron microscopist with expertise gained during her Diploma thesis, PhD thesis and first Post-Doc is electron microscopy. This includes skills in various sample preparation methods (chemical fixation, High Pressure Freezing and Freeze Substitution), serial sectioning, imaging (including tomography) and 3D reconstruction (using Imaris, Amira, iMod or Reconstruct). She prepared and imaged a variety of organisms (Trichoplax, C. elegans, Drosophila, Zebrafish) and am now working on plants, mainly Arabidopsis. As post-doctoral researcher at Oxford Brookes University she id funded by a joint ERA-CAPs project with Warick, BOKU (Austria) and the University of Bordeaux. She is investigating how the plant atlastin homologue RHD3 and interaction partners as RTN13 are involved in shape determination of the ER and how these changes in ER shape affect protein and lipid biosynthesis and storage. She is using the Serial-Block-Face SEM technique to collect 3D data of entire plant cells and its organelles, especially the ER and Golgi. 3D reconstruction programs as Imaris and Amira are used to render the structures of interest and obtain quantitative data.


 PhD students

 Alessandra Rochetti joined the hawes group in November 2011 from Milan and is working on the interactions of the Golgi apparatus with the cytoskeleton in plants. She is using fluorescent protein expression and live cell imaging to study interactions with both the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons.


PetraPetra Kiviniemi completed her degree in Cell & Molecular Biology with a first at Brookes in 2010 and joined the Hawes group as a PhD student in October 2010. Petra is working on the role of the  family of ER shaping proteins, the reticulons, at the cell plate using confocal microscopy and electron tomography. 



VanessaVanessa Vieira completed a master's in the trafficking and sorting of the plant storage protein cardosin at the University of Porto in 2014.  She joined Oxford Brookes in September 2014 to undertake PhD research in the the function of plant cis-Golgi associated Golgins that are hypothesised to play a role in organising the tight interface between the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi bodies in plants. 






Microscopy Consultant

GarethGareth Morgan: joined in June 2009 as Microscopy Consultant and has many years experience in electron microscopy. He was originally Chief Technician and Laboratory Manager of E.M.Unit, Kings College London (Strand Campus) and more recently as Applications Specialist for RMC-Boeckeler Instruments and I.S.S. Group Services.




Related Groups:

The Plant Nuclear Envelope Group

David Evans

David Evans: Professor in Plant Cell Biology, Post-graduate Tutor and Head of the Oxford Brookes Graduate School. He is currently directing research in protein traffic and transport at the nuclear envelope using GFP fusions, and is active in research into programmed cell death in plants.






Katja in lab

Katja Graumann: carried out her PhD on plant nuclear envelope proteins. She has identified and cloned two SUN domain proteins and is using confocal and electron microscopy to study their location and interactions. Her postdoc.was  in the Evans group funded by the Leverhulme Trust is to work on the function of the SUN proteins and identify their binding partners. She is now carrying on this work as a Leverhulme Early Career research Fellow.  Katja comes from Bad Suderode in Germany and also completed her undergraduate degree in Cell & Molecular Biology here at Oxford Brookes




Plant Cell Surface Research

John Runions

John Runions: Reader in Plant Cell and Molecular Biology. John first joined Brookes in Sep. 2003 as a Post Doc after completing a Post Doc in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge. After becoming a ResearCh Fellow and permanent member of staff he now runs his own research group. John researches into protein mobility in plant membranes, interactions between the cell wall and the plasma membrane and the role of the underlying cytoskeleton in PM protein dynamics.


Chris Hawes
telephone: 44(0) 1865 483266
fax: 44(0) 1865 483955