Professor David Twell

Dave Twell

Professor of Plant Biology

Contact details

Adrian Building, Lab 311, Office 313

Internal: 2281
External: +44(0) 116 252 2281


Personal details

I studied Botany at Durham University where I became fascinated with plants, genes and development. I went on to study for a PhD at Rothamsted Experimental Station, Herts and Imperial College London, investigating plant transformation and storage protein genes in potato. I then decided to ‘go west’ as a Post Doctoral Research Geneticist to investigate sexual reproduction and gene regulation in tomato at the Plant Gene Expression Centre in Albany, CA.

I returned to the UK in 1990 having been awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to study plant genetics and reproductive biology in the Leicester Biocentre. I subsequently joined the Department of Botany and was awarded a personal Chair at the University in 2000. I then moved to the Department of Biology and joined the Department of Genetics in 2015.

Research Interests


Our core research interests are in the molecular control and evolution of plant reproductive development. We use molecular, genetic and genomic approaches to study genes, proteins and cellular processes important for plant and crop fertility. The knowledge and tools arising from our research informs basic understanding of plant development and new plant breeding strategies to help maintain food security.


Research topics:  Plant development; Sexual reproduction; Pollen development;  Gene regulatory networks; Cell polarity; Asymmetric cell division; Germ cell specification; Cell cycle; small RNA pathways.




Breakthrough study solves plant sex mystery

PhD Projects

PhD Projects are available in the broad areas of research outlined below. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact me to discuss research objectives and areas of interest. Funded studentships are advertised and enquiries from motivated externally-funded individuals are welcome.

Please see advertised projects at FindAPhD: P1 and P2


My teaching interests span topics from plant developmental and evolutionary biology, to molecular genetics and bioinformatics.

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Contact Details

Department of Genetics
University of Leicester

Adrian Building
University Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3374
E Mail:

Head of Department
Professor Jacqui Shaw

Student complaints procedure


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