President: Sophie Harrington
I’m an undergraduate at King’s College, with a particular passion for encouraging debate on food security and the need to feed a growing planet. There’s more to plant science than what’s taught in schools, and I hope that Planet will show how intertwined plants and society are, whether in politics, economics, or even art history.
Vice-President: Leanne Massie
I’m currently an undergraduate at Newnham college with a passion for all things plant related. My particular passion is learning about the evolutionary history of plants and how they are all related to each other. On that note, my favourite plant is the waterlily. Not only because this is a beautiful flower but also because we believe that it the closest living flower to the first original flower in terms of appearance. That’s pretty awesome considering the first flowers appeared about 160 million years ago! The plant I keep myself though is the tough little aloe vera since it is useful for first aid (and its extremely hard to kill!)
Treasurer: Nick Dinan
I’m currently a second year at Churchill. I want to be a part of the link between information and opinion because there is no future without a better utilisation of plants. I’m particularly interested in providing a platform to voice and address the concerns of individuals on issues such as GMOs. I love love love romanesco broccoli, they’re beautiful.
Secretary: Joanna Wolstenholme
I’m an undergraduate at Jesus college, and am passionate about plants and all the amazing things they can do for us. With the upcoming challenges of food and fuel security with a backdrop of climate change and a rising population, I think it is vital that we understand how to utilise plants to the best of our abilities, and most importantly, convey this information to those that need it most.
Subject Specialist: Nathan Smith
I’m more of a molecular science person and love microbes. I write and edit a lot and am hoping to mainly write on plant-microbe interactions, plants as a source of medicinal drugs, and the importance of biodiversity in maintaining a wide gene pool. As far as favourite plants go, it’s got to be orchids. Not wanting to be too crude but the word has an interesting etymology; they also have an interesting symbiosis/parasitism with fungi.
Subject Specialist: Charlie Whittaker
I’m an undergraduate at Jesus College, studying and loving plants. My main interest lies with algae and the means by which they photosynthesise, but I’m also partial to a bit of phytoplankton (who isn’t), and their use as bioindicators of pollution or compromised ocean water quality. My favourite plant has to be Kalenchoe pinnata because it has tiny new plants that grow along the edge of its leaves. If that’s not awesome I don’t know what is!