Who we are
Dr Sandy Hetherington (PI of the Molecular Palaeobotany and Evolution Group)
I am an evolutionary palaeobiologist interested in how plants evolved to conquer the land. I work at the interface between the Life and Earth Sciences to study the evolution of plant development.
I studied an MSci in Geology at the University of Bristol (2008-2012) and became fascinated by the evolution of land plants. In 2012 I moved to the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford to undertake my DPhil with Prof Liam Dolan on the evolution of lycophyte roots. My thesis was awarded the Irene Manton Prize in 2018 for the best thesis in Botany by the Linnean Society. After my DPhil I remained in Oxford, first as a postdoctoral researcher (2017) and then a Junior Research Fellow at Magdalen College (2017-2020) continuing my work on root evolution. For my work on root evolution I was named the Palaeontological Association Exceptional Lecturer for 2020-2021. In October 2020 I moved to the Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences at the University of Edinburgh to establish my research group supported by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship.
Erica de Leau (Research Lab Manager)
Erica joined the lab in February 2021 funding by the UKRI. She will be leading on research to investigate the evolution of the phloem and acting as lab manager for the group.
Holly-Anne Turner (Research Assistant)
Holly-Anne joined the lab in January 2021 to do her undergraduate honours project working on Rhynie
chert fossils and on completion of her degree she is staying on to continue her research as a Research Assistant from August 2021.
Undergraduate and Masters Students
Honours Project students
2021: Holly-Anne Turner
2021: LuLi (RBGE Masters)
Undergraduate Summer Students
2021: Jenn Westermann
2019/2020: Anna Jones and Siobhán Bridson (Department of Plant Sciences, Oxford)