I went to a grammar school in Coventry and then on to an undergraduate degree in Applied Biology at the University of Bath. My PhD was in human genetics and was carried out at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School London. It was after my PhD that I developed an interest in plant genetics and I went to Yale University for five years to carry out postdoctoral research. In 1990 I returned to the UK to set up my own research group in the Department of Plant Sciences at Oxford. I was the Tutorial Fellow in Biology at Queen’s from 1994 until I became a Senior Research Fellow in 2006 and then a Professorial Fellow in 2016. I have been a member of Governing Body since 1994.


I lecture in the third year of the Biological Sciences BA where I run a module on the evolution of developmental mechanisms in plants. I give tutorials in basic genetics and plant developmental biology.


My research is focussed on understanding the genetic mechanisms that underpin the formation of leaves. In this context, we are contributing to a multinational project that aims to create a more highly yielding ‘C4’ rice. For more details and a complete list of publications see: and


Selected publications

  • Sedelnikova, O.V., Hughes, T.E. & Langdale J.A. (2018) Understanding the Genetic Basis of C4 Kranz Anatomy with a View to Engineering C3 Crops. Annual Reviews in Genetics 52, 249-270.
  • Wang, P., Khosravesh, R., Karki, S., Tapia, R., Balahadia, C.P., Bandyopadhyay, A., Quick, W.P., Furbank, R., Sage, T.L. & Langdale, J.A. (2017) Re-creation of a key step in the evolutionary switch from C3 to C4 leaf anatomy. Current Biology 27, 3278-3287.
  • Langdale, J.A. (2011) C4 cycles: past present and future research on C4 photosynthesis. The Plant Cell 23, 3879-3892.