Professor David Evans

BSc, PhD (Wales)

Professor

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

David Evans

Role

Following my retirement from my position as Associate Dean, Research and Knowledge Exchange in March 2021, I continue to support research in plant cell biology, especially the structure, function and composition of the plant nuclear envelope. I lead the Cell Biology Section of the Society for Experimental Biology.

Areas of expertise

  • Plant nuclear architecture and regulation
  • Plant cell and molecular biology
  • Plant cell and tissue culture
  • Plant biotechnology

Teaching and supervision

Supervision

I have supervised more than 25 PhD and DPhil students at Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford. I currently support the supervision of two PhD students.

Research

I am a member of the Cell Biology Research Group at Oxford Brookes, working with Verena Kriechbaumer and Katja Graumann. I specialise in the study of the plant nuclear envelope. Our group has research partnerships with visiting Professor Iris Meier (Ohio State University), and with visiting Professor Christophe Tatout (Universite Clermont Auvergne, UCA). Our current projects include the study of protein protein interactions at the endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear envelope; the role of mid-SUN proteins; use of artificial intelligence methods to quantify nuclear shape and structure (co-tutelle with UCA) and study of the ER:NE interface. We use a range of techniques and specialise in light microscopy applications and live cell imaging. As part of the INDEPTH COST Action,  we disseminate our work through our European partnership as well as through annual meetings of the Society for Experimental Biology and in our publications.  We host the web site of INDEPTH  and its training and methodological resource, the INDEPTH Academy.

Research projects

  • The role of mid-SUN proteins in the plant nuclear envelope and endoplasmic reticulum
  • Use of deep learning techniques to quantify nuclear structure and dynamics (with UCA Clermont Auvergne)

Research impact

The nuclear envelope (NE) is of key importance in regulating the function of the nucleus. Chromosome territories are created by interaction with it with associated gene regulation; chromatin is structured by proteins which attach to the NE and the whole nucleus is positioned in disease and development by proteins interfacing with the NE. The role of the NE is therefore being explored to enhance transformation of plant material and to enhance disease and drought resistance. Our Research Group has contributed the discovery and characterisation of a range of proteins central to these interactions; focussing on components of the plant Linker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton (LINC) complex, we have identified the key roles of inner nuclear envelope located SUN domain proteins and outer nuclear envelope KASH domain proteins and demonstrated their functions in creating a bridging complex at the NE. Through the Indepth COST Action, this work is being disseminated and applied in understanding genetics and epigenetics of crops and provides fundamental information for understanding the importance of the structure of the nucleus in defining plant traits.

Groups

Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Impact of Nuclear Domains on Gene Expression and Plant Traits (led by University Clermont-Ferrand) (01/09/2017 - 31/08/2023), funded by: COST Association, funding amount received by Brookes: £12,186

Publications

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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Cell Section leader, Society for Experimental Biology

Conferences

  • SEB Annual Main Meeting and Special Interest Group session, Online 2021
  • Indepth Management Meeting and Conference, Praha, 2019
  • Indepth Kick-Off meeting, Clermont Ferrand, France, 2018
  • Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting, Nuclear Dynamics Special Interest Group, Firenze 2018
  • Society for Experimental Biology 'Nuclear Dynamics' conference co-organiser, Brighton, 2016
  • International Plant Nucleus Consortium annual meeting, Olamouc, Czech Republic 2015
  • Mitosis and Nuclear Structure, 2013. Company of Biologists Wiston House Conference.

Further details

Other experience

  • 1983-1988 Botany Fellow Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford (Junior research fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford, 1984-1988)
  • 1988-1998 Royal Society University Research Fellow (Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford, 1989-1992)
  • 1989-1990 Stipendiary Lecturer, Magdalen College Oxford (1 year temporary post)
  • Honorary Secretary of the Cell Biology Section of the Society for Experimental Biology (2003- 2008)

Further information