Dr Jaz Morris awarded by New Zealand Journal of Botany

14 May 2020

Late last year Jaz received the biennial Early-Career Researcher prize by the New Zealand Journal of Botany (published by the Royal Society), in relation to a paper he published in that journal during his PhD studies.

Jaz investigated the ecophysiology — traits that allow survival in particular environmental conditions — of a species of plant-like cyanobacteria called Synechocystis. This organism is used globally as a kind of ‘lab-rat’ equivalent in thousands of studies of photosynthesising species.

At the time of Jaz’ research, recent evidence had shown unexpected genetic changes had occurred unnoticed in the different populations (‘strains’) of Synechocystis that were being used in labs around the world. In this paper, Jaz showed that, despite any genetic differences that had arisen, actual differences in the growth and physiology of several important worldwide strains were extremely minor, giving confidence in the further usefulness of Synechocystis as a model organism.

The New Zealand Journal of Botany: Biology of Plants, Fungi and Algae of the Southern Hemisphere published his paper, and Jaz received the award in person from Mr Fei He, the Royal Society’s Publishing Programme Manager.

Read the paper Phenotypic variation in wild-type substrains of the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

For further information please contact Dr. Jaz Morris