The Braybrook Group studies the mechanics of growth and development.
In all organisms, the growing of a shape is a complex process requiring specific gene products, signaling, mechanical alterations, and coordination of cell growth. Our Team addresses this fundamental process in biology using a multidisciplinary approach including: plant physiology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, materials science, and physics. We focus on understanding how shapes are generated in walled organisms: plants and alage.
For a plant and algal cells, the cell wall is the main structural element, controlling shape and growth of the cell and therefore tissue as a whole. Recent work in plants has correlated key aspects of organ growth and shape generation, in plants, with mechanical properties of tissues and cell walls. Our Team has two main goals: 1) to understand the mechanics of shape growth in plants and algae, and 2) to understand the cell wall as a dynamic composite material.