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Dr Stuart Lane

Visiting Specialist

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)



1972 BSc (Hons) 2.2 Botany & Zoology London(Ext.)

1977 MI Biol.

1979 PhD (CNAA) Thesis:

Studies on the Distribution and Physiology of Lead in Plants

1986 Chartered Biologist

Relevant employment

1972-1980 Specialist Technician in Plant Physiology, Plymouth Polytechnic.

1974-1985 Part time Lecturer, Plymouth Polytechnic.

1980-1985 Technician Supervisor Life Sciences,

Plymouth Polytechnic.

Nov. 1983 Jan. 1984; March 1985 May 1985 Acting

Principal Technician (Science).

1985-87 Lecturer 11 Plant Physiology & Pathology,

Plymouth Polytechnic.

1987-1998 Senior Lecturer Plant Physiology &

Pathology, Plymouth Polytechnic/Polytechnic South

West/University of Plymouth.

1998- Principal Lecturer Plant Physiology &

Pathology, University of Plymouth

Teaching interests

My teaching interests are broad, ranging from basic plant physiology and taxonomy through stress aspects such as wind, temperature and pollution induced effects and also into plant pathology and protection, pesticide effects and application, industrial and medicinal uses of plants and environmental impacts of agriculture On the administrative side I have served on a wide range of University committees and acted as stage leader, admissions tutor and course tutor at different times for BSc Biological Sciences. I am currently BSc Plant Discovery and Exploitation course leader, Biological Sciences Careers and Industrial Links coordinator, and offer modules on BSc Environmental Sciences as well as Biology programmes. I am also deputy course leader for MSc Botanic Conservation and Faculty link for 4 Foundation degrees in Horticulture in Cornwall and one in Devon. I have been involved in course design at all levels and also in aspects of marketing. In addition I am currently one of the University's points of liaison with the Eden Project, looking at ways to develop educational links.

In relation to other administrative duties I am a member of the University's Placements and Work Experience group, the KTP management board and have been involved with the Partner Colleges forum. I have made in a number of presentations to schools on careers and the study of biology in HE, both locally and also to HE conventions in Truro and Hertfordshire, the latter for the last four years

Research interests

a) PhD studies: My studies during my PhD were directed towards the physiological effects of a particular heavy metal, lead, on terrestrial plants. This involved largely hydroponic based studies on uptake and growth response and the physiological and developmental mechanisms controlling these,extending to include hormonal, cytological, and metabolic factors. Distribution and partitioning studies were also undertaken using light, transmission electron and scanning transmission electron microscopy. These studies produced a number of well received papers and conference presentations.

b) Subsequent academic research interests have evolved in two main directions, both to some extent generated from PhD interests.

i) An interest has been maintained in pollution stress responses in plants, initially through in vitro studies on heavy metal tolerance, and subsequently into the use of hydroponic based and other biofilter systems to reduce pollutant levels. One system in particular has proved rather more successful than might be expected in reducing both nitrate and heavy metal pollution levels. This topic has offer the opportunity to develop a range of interests from the recycling of products in, for example, fish feeds to interactions with microbial biofilters, to reedbed technology, and also to algal systems.

ii) Any study of pollution induced disorders in plant systems develops an awareness and interest in other disorders and in particular in my case in plant diseases. This also has had the benefit of underpinning my other teaching specialism. One particular area has been rewarding, that of the use of biological and integrated control strategies to reduce disease severity. Work in this area has included applications of such systems in plant tissue culture and at field and controlled environment level.

In parallel with these, I have also developed some more applied research interests linked (in recent years) with KTP, TCS and EGG scheme projects as detailed below. These have been fairly diverse, including, for example, plant growth hormone studies, compost design, plant cutting production systems and to the establishment/evaluation of plant productivity databases. This move towards more commercial work has produced commercially sensitive material not available for publication at present but has permitted some presentation of material at conferences

Other research

Conferences -published extracts:

May S.J., Price D.N., Donkin M.E., Lane S.D. 2000. The effects of non specific narcotic hydrocarbon pollutants on the spectral properties of Enteromorpha intestinalts. Published Abstract J.Exp. Bot. 51 (supplement) 69

Bullock SJ, Lane SD 2000. The effects of growing substrate on shoot development in Pelargonium. Published Abstract J.Exp. Bot. 51 (supplement) 71.

Price DN, Lane SD, Donkin ME 2001. Parliamentary case study with 3rd year Bed students. Published extract J Exp Bot 52 (suppl) 124.

Lane SD, Price DN, Donkin ME 2001. Plants and Industry - a final year module to explore the applications of plant research work. J Exp Bot 52 (suppl), 124

Bullock SJ, Lane SD, Donkin ME, Price DN 2002. The application of greenwaste-derived substrate blends as a substrate for the growth of dwarf sunflower. Published abstract Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 132a/supp.1, 157

(this work was also featured on the HERO business website from 11 September 2002 -…)

Phillips JG, Lane SD, 2002. Impacts of zeolite application on plant growth and development and their implications for zeolite waste disposal. Published abstract Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 132a/supp.1, 158

Price DN, Lane SD, Edmans A, Gazzard KL, Donkin ME 2002. A comparison of the optical properties of ripening fruits and senescing leaves. Published abstract Comparative Biochenmistry and Physiology 132a/supp.1, 94.

KY Hawkins, SD Lane, ME Donkin, DN Price 2003. Production factors affecting the marketability of potted pinks. Published abstract Comparative Physiology and biochemistry 143a, 3, S170

Other non-abstracted conference presentations:

Harnett BR, Lane SD, Donkin ME, Price DN. A review of the effects of the growth hormone ethylene on certain ornamental plants. Annual Meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology, University of Exeter 27 31 March 2000.

SJ Bullock, SD Lane, ME Donkin, DN Price The optimum ratio at which green waste derived compost may be blended with other media to create a sustainable plant growth substrate. Annual Meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology University of Southampton 31 March- 4 April 2003.

R Davies, S Lane & M Donkin. An analysis of species composition and conservation value of three brownfield sites in Plymouth, Devon. Annual Meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona 11-15 July 2005
S Lane, A Egwunatum 2006. Effects of compost age on the suppression of Armellaria mellea with green waste compost teas. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 143a, 4, S181

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

2001 Paula Powell: Effects of nutrient inputs on the ecology of Phragmites australis and hydrochemistry at South Milton Ley, Devon (PhD)

2001 Sarah May: Effects of pollutants on the spectral

characteristics of marine algae (PhD)

2003 Paul Challinor: An evaluation of pumice, unloaded clinoptilolite and nutrient-loaded clinoptilolite zeolites, as plant growth substrates in the intensive production of long season glasshouse crops (PhD)

Grants & contracts

1998-2000 SD Lane, DN Price, ME Donkin: DTI Funded Teaching Company Scheme for improvement work in plant

propagation £79388

2000-2002 SD Lane, DN Price, ME Donkin: DTI funded Teaching Company Scheme for work on Green Waste composting £97000

2001 SD Lane: British Council grant for lecture visit and to discuss research and teaching at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur £850

2001-2003 SD Lane, DN Price, ME Donkin: DEFRA funded TCS Programme for work on Dianthus breeding and production £98000

2003-2005 JN Bull, SD Lane, C Trier: DTI funded KTP programme for work on environmental management at Paignton Zoological and Botanical Gardens (£99000)

Referreed articles:

Harland J, Lane SD, Price DN. 1999. Further experiences with recycled clinoptilolite zeolite as a longterm substrate for the sweet pepper crop. Acta Horticulturae 481, 187 194.

Lane SD, Price DN, Donkin M 2002. Plants and Industry - a final year module to explore applications of plant research. LTSN Bioscience Bulletin 6, 10.

Lane SD, Bowen NJ. 2005. Revisiting the use of Iprodione and Trichoderma in the integrated management of onion white rot. Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection 38, 2,133-138

Granados L, Lane SD. 2007 A fine scale study of selected environmental and floristic parameters in three populations of Euphrasia vigursii (Davey), a rare annual endemic to Devon and Cornwall. Watsonia, 26, 347-358.


Burns M, Lane SD, Phillips J. A guide to developing employer links in Higher Education; with case studies from the sciences. pub 1999 Seed Publications. ISBN 1 84102 036 2.