Welcome to our world of plant engineering biology.  For recent lab updates please visit our X (Twitter) feed.


Photosynthesis is nature's principal means of solar energy and carbon capture, and is one of the most essential biological processes for sustaining life on earth.

Our group uses a combination of biochemical and physiological approaches to study the fascinating world of photosynthetic organisms, with particular focus on higher plants and micro-algae. Our broad aim is to gain a better understanding of photosynthetic carbon capture and primary metabolism, and how these processes are co-ordinated with growth demands.







GFP-tagged HCO3- transporter in leaf cells


Engineering Biology is a new and exciting evolution of the Synthetic Biology field that uses engineering principles to design and construct biological parts that can be readily incorporated into living organisms. Using this approach, our current work is focused on:

  • Improving photosynthetic efficiencies in C3 plants (e.g. important staple crop species such as wheat and rice).
  • Developing molecular tools for exploiting micro-algae for the production of high value compounds.

Please see our Research and Software and Tools links for further details.

Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. 6803 (wild-type and 'Olive' mutant)


Our lab is located at the School of Biological Sciences, King’s Buildings campus, University of Edinburgh. We are in the Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences and affiliated with the nearby Centre for Engineering Biology.

The McCormick lab is also a member of the Edinburgh Plant Science network.



Photometric stereo imaging rig (UoE ICS team)