Recognizing Plant Physiology first authors: Elsa Matthus

Elsa Matthus, first author of Phosphate starvation alters abiotic stress-induced cytosolic free calcium increases in Arabidopsis roots

Current Position: PhD student, Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge (UK)

Education: University of Bayreuth, group of Stephan Clemens (B.Sc.), University of Bonn, group of Michael Frei (M.Sc.), University of Cambridge, group of Julia Davies (M.Res., PhD).

Non-scientific Interests: Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, travelling, building snowmen (and -wome

Brief bio: I’m very interested in how nutrition influences how plants ‘see’ their environment. For my masters, I screened a diverse rice panel for tolerance to excess iron, phenotyping the shoots for symptoms of iron toxicity. I was vexed to find that looking at the shoot felt like I was always one step too late, and decided to work with plants roots for my PhD project. In the group of Julia Davies, University of Cambridge (UK), I thus focussed on how phosphate nutrition alters calcium signalling in roots of Arabidopsis. Phosphate and calcium have a very particular relationship – as they easily complex, calcium is cytotoxic to a phosphate-based metabolism – which is a fascinating biological problem to work on.