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Dr Carmen Sánchez Cañizares

Lecturer in Biological Sciences


I completed my degree on Agricultural Engineering at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), Spain. I did my fourth year at the Faculté d’Ingénierie Biologique, Agronomique et Environnementale, Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. After this, I did my Master in Plant  and  Forest  Biotechnology, followed by a PhD in Biotechnology and Genetic Resources of Plants and Associated Microorganisms in the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP), Madrid, Spain. During my PhD I did an internship in the Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA. I am currently working in the Department of Plant Sciences as a postdoctoral researcher in the rhizosphere laboratory.


Since I came to Oxford I have been giving tutorials in the Department of Plant Sciences in different courses, like “Plants and People” or “Forestry: genetics, silviculture and policy”. I have also been a demonstrator in “Organisms” or “Cells  &  Genes” courses. At Queen’s I am teaching First Years in Biological Sciences, focused on the molecular aspects of Biology. 


Agricultural Plant Science, Evolutionary Biology, Microbiology

The main focus of my research is a process called Biological Nitrogen Fixation, which only certain microbes have the ability to carry out in order to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a biochemically usable form for the plants. These microbes are soil bacteria called rhizobia and they associate with legume plants, making legumes essential in crop rotation programs worldwide. Understanding the molecular processes responsible for the establishment of this symbiosis will lead to sustainable crop yields and a positive impact on the environment.