The University of Sheffield
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

Dr Duncan Cameron

Dr Duncan Cameron

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 0066
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 0002

email : d.cameron@sheffield.ac.uk


Career

Senior Research Fellow and Royal Society University Research Fellow (2012-to date)

Royal Society University Research Fellow (2010-2011)

NERC Fellow, University of Sheffield (2007-2010)

Leverhulme Trust post doctoral research associate, University of Sheffield (2004-2007)

PhD – Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Aberdeen (2004)

BSc (Hons) – Animal and Plant Biology, University of Sheffield (2001)

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Key Research Interests

My work focuses on the physiology and ecology of host-symbiont interactions, specifically plant-fungal symbioses and plant-parasitic plant symbioses:

1. Carbon and mineral fluxes through mycorrhizal networks in natural and agro-ecosystems - Quantification and localisation of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon fluxes between plants and their symbiotic fungal partner (mycorrhiza).

2. Microorganisms in sustainable agro ecosystems - Harnessing beneficial microbes for crop production (provisioning of nutrients) and crop protection (inducible plant defenses).

3. Carbon and mineral nutrition of mycoheterotrophic plants - Quantification and localisation of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon acquired by mycoheterotrophs (see the New Phytologist virtual special issue on mycoheterotrophy).

4. Physiology and functional ecology of host-parasitic plant interactions (Rhinanthus spp., Orobanche spp. Euphrasia spp., and Santalum album - Sandalwood) – Investigating the functional anatomy of parasitic plant haustoria (the host-parasite interface) using histology, immunochemistry, metabolite profiling and isotope tracers.

5. Developing new green roof technologies that allow us to utilise green architecture in a range of different climates.

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Teaching

My research interests are in physiological plant ecology, particularly I am interested in how symbioses between plants and other organisms (including other plants, fungi and insects) have evolved and how these interactions allow plants to survive and thrive in extreme environments. All of my core interests come together in my lectures for APS276 – Symbiosis where I explore the evolution and ecology of parasitism in plants and fungi.

I am passionate about field biology and therefore I teach on two field courses, APS255 – Environmental interpretation and APS337 – Portugal Field Course. In APS 255 I explore how plant-fungal symbioses call mycorrhiza allow plants to exist in harsh environments such as in coastal grasslands and how the properties of the physical, abiotic environment can shape the structure and function of the biotic environment. In APS337 I aim to introduce students to the co-evolution between plants and insects for pollination and how plant signals can influence the behaviour of their pollinators.

At level 3 I supervise undergraduate research projects (APS330) and level 4 projects (APS402 & 406) close to my research interests, past projects have included investigating how parasitic plants influence host communities; the role of soil microbes in sustainable food production, the mechanisms underpinning how some orchids can parasitise fungi and how different soil substrates can promote biodiversity on green roofs. I also supervise dissertations (APS331) over a broad range of topics in plant ecology, physiology and evolution.

Collaborators

Prof. Sir David Read FRS, Prof. Mike Burrell, Dr Gareth Phoenix & Prof. Jonathan Leake – University of Sheffield, UK.
Prof. Malcolm Press – University of Birmingham, UK.
Dr Barry Lomax & Dr Janice Lake – University of Nottingham, UK
Dr Martin I Bidartondo – Imperial College and Kew Gardens, UK.
Dr Richard Preziosi  - University of Manchester, UK
Dr Jenny Rowntree - University of York
Dr Fan Jiang – Beijing Normal University, China.
Prof. Gerhard Gebauer – University of Bayreuth, Germany.
Dr Jakub Těšitel – University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic.

External responsibilities and memberships

Subject editor, Plant and Soil

Member of the NERC peer review college

Member of the International Parasitic Plants Society (IPPS)

Reviewer for a range of ecological and plant science journals including: Journal of Experimental Botany, New Phytologist, Oecologia, Journal of Ecology, Journal of Applied Ecology, Functional Plant Biology, Australian Journal of Botany, Basic and Applied Ecology, Plant Biology, Journal of Vegetation Science, Experimental Agriculture, American Journal of Botany, Weed Research.

Research Group

Please click here for full details of Cameron Lab members

Post Docs

Dr Katie Field
Dr Richard Waterman
Dr Bleddyn Hughes
Dr Ludovic Duvaux
Dr Alex Perez de Luque

Technicians

Irene Johnson
Dr Kate Allinson

PhD students

Sameera Alghamdi
Nicola Hurst
Tom Harcourt
Steffi Tille
Tom Young
David Hopkins
Andy McNally
Steve Muddimer
Tom Thirkell
Chris Hepworth
Despina Berdeni

Selected Publications

(for a full list see www.cameronlab.staff.shef.ac.uk/Recentpublications.html)

Field KJ, Cameron DD, Leake JR, Tille S, Bidartondo MI, Beerling DJ (2012). Contrasting arbuscular mycorrhizal responses of vascular and non-vascular plants to a simulated Palaeozoic CO2 decline. Nature Communications: doi: 10.1038/ncomms1831.

Těšitel J, Lepš J, Vráblová M, Cameron DD (2011). The role of heterotrophic carbon acquisition by the hemiparasitic plant Rhinanthus alectorolophus in seedling establishment in natural communities: a physiological perspective. New Phytologist 192: 188-199.

Cameron DD (2010) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as (agro)ecosystem engineers. Plant and Soil 333: 1-5.

Cameron DD, White A, Antonovics J (2009) Parasite-grass-forb interactions and rock-paper-scissor dynamics: predicting the effects of the parasitic plant Rhinanthus minor on host plant communities. Journal of Ecology 97: 1311-1319.

Cameron DD, Preiss K, Gebauer G, Read DJ (2009) The chlorophyll containing orchid Corallorhiza trifida derives little carbon through photosynthesis. New Phytologist 183: 358-364.

Irving LJ, Cameron DD (2009). You are what you eat: interactions between root parasitic plants and their hosts. Advances in Botanical Research 50: 87-138.

Cameron DD, Johnson I, Read DJ, Leake JR (2008). Giving and receiving: measuring the carbon cost of mycorrhizas in the green orchid, Goodyera repens. New Phytologist 180: 176-184.

Jiang F, Jeschke WD, Hartung W, Cameron DD (2008). Mobility of boron-polyol complexes in the hemiparasitic association between Rhinanthus minor and Hordeum vulgare: the effects of nitrogen nutrition. Physiologia Plantarum 134: 13-21.

Cameron DD, Geniez J-M, Seel WE, Irving, LJ (2008). Suppression of host photosynthesis by the parasitic plant Rhinanthus minor. Annals of Botany 101: 573-578.

Cameron DD, Seel WE (2007). Functional anatomy of haustoria formed by Rhinanthus minor:linking evidence from histology and isotope tracing. New Phytologist 174: 412-419.

Cameron DD, Johnson I, Leake JR, Read DJ (2007). Mycorrhizal acquisition of inorganic phosphorus by the green-leaved terrestrial orchid Goodyera repens. Annals of Botany 99: 831-834.

Cameron DD, Coats AM, Seel WE (2006). Differential resistance among host and non-host species underlies the variable success of the hemi-parasitic plant Rhinanthus minor. Annals of Botany98: 1289-1299.

Cameron DD, Leake JR, Read DJ (2006). Mutualistic mycorrhiza in orchids: evidence from plant-fungus carbon and nitrogen transfers in the green-leaved terrestrial orchid Goodyera repens. New Phytologist 171: 405-416.

Cameron DD, Hwangbo J-K, Keith AM, Geniez J-M, Kraushaar D, Rowntree J, Seel WE (2005).n Interactions between the hemiparasitic angiosperm Rhinanthus minor and its hosts: from the cell to the ecosystem. Folia Geobotanica 40: 217-229.

Invited conference papers and seminars

Cameron DD (2011) Who hosts whom? Resolving the nature of orchid mycorrhizal symbioses. Invited seminar speaker at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany.

Cameron DD, Leake JR (2010). Sustainable management of soils. Invited speaker at: Symposium on Multifunctional Landscapes – University of Sheffield.

Cameron DD (2010). Take now, pay later: Are orchids parasitic on their mycorrhizal fungi or do they live on carbon credit? Invited seminar speaker at The Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK.

Cameron DD (2009). All that glitters isn’t gold and all that is green cannot photosynthesise: the chlorophyll-containing orchid Corallorhiza trifida gains little carbon through photosynthesis. Invited speaker at: Botany 2009 – Snowbird, Utah, USA.

Cameron DD (2008). Take now, pay later: measuring the carbon and nutrient economy of mycorrhizas of green orchids. Invited seminar speaker at the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK.

Cameron DD, Read DJ (2008). Take now, pay later: the carbon and nutrient economy of mycorrhizas of green orchids. Invited seminar speaker at the Bayreuth Centre of Ecology and Environmental Research, University of Bayreuth, Germany.

Cameron DD (2008). Are orchids parasitic upon their mycorrhizal fungi or do they live by carbon credit and repayment? Invited seminar speaker at the University of Durham, UK.

Cameron DD (2007). Interactions between the parasitic plant Rhinanthus minor and its hosts: from the cell to the ecosystem. Invited seminar speaker at The Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

Cameron DD, Leake JR, Read DJ (2006). First evidence of mutualism in orchid mycorrhiza: Net carbon and nutrient fluxes between an orchid and its mycorrhizal mycelial network. Invited speaker at the International Conference on Mycorrhizas (ICOM5), Granada, Spain.

Cameron DD (2005). Differential resistance to the grassland hemi-parasite, Rhinanthus minor, and its consequences for community structure. Invited seminar speaker at the Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, New Zealand.

Cameron DD, Seel WE (2004). Compatible and incompatible interactions in root parasitic plants. Invited speaker at Cost Action 849: Parasitic Plant Management in Sustainable Agriculture Workshop: Broomrape management, Nitra, Slovakia.