PhD Student

Maxime (Max) obtained an undergraduate degree in Agronomy from the University of Bordeaux in France (2012-2014) that he defended after a summer project focused on the study of the phytopathogens of the grapevine. After this first experience with plant science in the field, he integrated a second bachelor’s degree in Ecology and General biology at the University of Bordeaux (2014-2015) to have the possibility to gain lab work experience. During this degree he worked 2 months at the INRA (French National Institute of Agricultural Research), under the supervision of Dr. Virginie Lauvergeat, where he studied the relation and the signalling betweenrRootstock-scion in response to the environment in the grapevine. During this project he had the occasion to study the role of the strigolactones as a root-to-shoot signal; a topic that drew his scientific interest 

Thereafter, Max did a master’s degree in Plant and Molecular Biology at the University of Bordeaux (2015-2017). His thesis, supervised by Dr. Virginie Lauvergeat, was the extension of his undergrad project, but with a strong focus on the role of the strigolactones as both a rhizosphere signal to modulate the AMF symbiosis and an endogenous regulator of the shoot branching in the grapevine. By the end of his master’s degree he was convinced of his will to become a plant scientist and so decided to pursue his apprenticeship by doing a PhD. 

Max did the big jump (from France to the UK) and joined the Bennett lab as a PhD student in October 2017. His project is focused on understanding the interplay between strigolactone  and the elusive KAI2 signalling in the control of root development. By using a variety of approaches, from phenotypic observation to confocal microscopy and molecular biology, Max examines the mechanistic and genetic processes, dependent of SL and KL signalling, through which the plant regulates its root development in response to the environment. Meanwhile he is also interested in understanding the plant-plant communication in the rhizosphere, and more specifically the signalling mechanisms that underlie this communication between plants.