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Personal profile


2007-present Lecturer University of Manchester

2003-2007 EMBO & Human Frontier Science Program Fellow John Innes Centre, Enrico Coen Lab, UK

1998-2003 PH.D in Genetics, UC Davis, Neelima Sinha Lab, USA

1995-1998 M.S. in Genetics, UC Davis, John Harada Lab, US

1988-1995 B.S in Horticultural Science, Seoul National University, Korea

Research interests

Throughout the evolutionary history of plants, novel traits have emerged and disappeared, creating the incredible diversity of plant forms. To understand this diversity, it is essential to trace and test histories of underlying developmental mechanisms which generate certain traits or structures and how these genetic mechanisms were involved in the evolution of plant forms. Genetic changes responsible for the morphological evolution could have been invented anew or recruited from the common toolkit of mechanisms that already existed. It is interesting to test if the same (parallelism) or different (convergence) genetic mechanism(s) were utilized to generate a novel trait or structure. It is also important to address why certain traits (or genetic mechanisms) are common in some groups but not others, and what selection pressures constrain a trait in a certain niche. I am particularly interested in the evolution of genetic mechanisms controlling diverse flower shapes and leaf forms. Flowers and leaves are highly adapted structures and the key elements of plant evolution. Recent advances in understanding how model organisms develop, and enriched genome data in other species, are providing a great opportunity to understand the evolution of developmental mechanisms controlling the leaf and flower forms in diverse species. Currently, we are studying genetic components on leaf shape variation in Potentillas and on flower head development in Senecio vulgaris, an aster family.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Science, Molecular and genetic analysis of leaf polarity and compound leaf development in tomato., University of California, Davis


Award Date: 23 Jun 2003

External positions

Panel member of Research Grants Scheme Biological Sciences Board, The Royal Society

1 Jan 201331 Dec 2018


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