Alex Wakeman


I am a PGR based in Bennett lab at the University of Leeds working with Dr Tom Bennett, investigating the limitations on crop biomass. I previously completed my Masters/Undergraduate in Biochemistry and Genetics at the University of Sheffield. I enjoy reading and going for long runs in muddy places. I’m also interested in science communication and recently presented at the 2021 Pint of Science festival.


2015 – 2019: Undergraduate integrated masters in Biochemistry and Genetics from The University of Sheffield.

Research Interests



Plant science

Project Title

Resolving the limitations on plant growth and biomass


Dr Tom Bennett


Panorama NERC DTP, 2020

Project outline

The development of seeds is a vital process for many important plants. Many of the world’s most important crops (including wheat, rice and maize) are grasses and successful development of their seeds is intrinsically linked to their yield. The production of these seeds is the result of the precisely regulated development of physical structures on the shoot, such as tillers, spikelets and florets. The coordination of this shoot architecture requires a careful balance of hormones in time and space. With my project, I aim to investigate how these hormones interact with each other, as part of a large, tightly controlled network to result in the physiological changes that determine current crop yields and which may be a source of future yield improvement.