Department of Plant Sciences
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Peter’s research focuses on the microbial ecology of the rhizosphere.
This is the zone of enhanced microbial activity surrounding the roots of plants. Microorganisms inhabiting the rhizosphere have been shown to be capable of suppressing disease as well as being causative agents, and are implicated in the macro- and micro-nutrition of the plant.
His recent work has focused on the factors controlling carbon loss to the rhizosphere. In maize, he has demonstrated that for the most important classes of soluble exudate, i.e. sugars and amino-acids, the amounts lost are subject to active regulation, with a passive loss component and a highly effective active re-uptake mechanism which is capable of recovering the majority of the carbon lost.
2011) Simulated nitrogen deposition affects wood decomposition by cord-forming fungi Oecologia. pp 1-8.
2011) Sector analysis and predictive modelling reveal iterative shoot-like development in fern fronds Development. 138 (14): pp 2925-2934.
2008) Imaging complex nutrient dynamics in mycelial networks Journal of Microscopy. 231 (2): pp 317-331.