Professor Bassel received a B.Sc. (2001) and Ph.D. (2006) at The University of Guelph, Canada, and was group leader at The University of Birmingham from 2012 to 2019, where he held a Chair in Plant Computational Biology. His research lies at the interface between biology, physics and computer science, and seeks to understand how plants process information from the environment to control their development.
Research being undertaken in conjunction with the Turing is focused on information processing in plants.
By viewing multicellular plant tissues as distributed information processing systems, the mechanisms these collections of cells are using to compute are being investigated. Both experimental and theoretical approaches are being taken, including mapping the multicellular circuitry of plant organs and developing models of collective decision-making which run within these templates.
This research seeks to establish a framework to rationally reprogram crop plants, and increase their performance in response to complex environments. Achieving this is of increasing significance in light of the growing demand for food production and challenges posed by climate change.