Dr Rob Herbert


Principal Lecturer in Biology and School Quality Co-ordinator

School of Science and the Environment

Biological Sciences

Contact Details

email: r.herbert@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 855215

Dr Rob Herbert is the quality co-ordinator for the School of Science and the Environment and a Principal Lecturer in Biology.

Rob has been with the University since 1992 and leads the Cell Biology module in year 1 and the Research Project module in year 3, both of which are taken by students on all of the courses in the department of Biological Sciences. He has a background in plant cell biology, specifically flowering and the plant cell cycle and has, more recently, begun to look at problems with crop plants such as post-harvest storage, senescence and susceptibility to disease. He has a long standing research collaboration with Cardiff University. His last three papers covered the expression of cell cycle gene WEE1 from Arabidopsis thaliana in tobacco, an analysis of volatile and molecular markers in melon to identify potential makers for food quality assessment and the effect of post-harvest stress on volatile organic compounds in early post-harvest senescence in salad rocket. It is unexpected to find a rocket scientist in a Biology department.

Rob is a member of the Sustainable Environments Research Group.


  • PhD Plant Cell Biology (Cardiff, 1991)
  • BSc Biotechnology (Kings, London, 1988)
  • HND Biotechnology (UWE Bristol, 1986)

Teaching & Research

Current Teaching

Level 4 (Year 1)
  • BIOL1001 Cell Biology
Level 5 (Year 2)
  • BIOS2201 Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • BIOS2100 Molecular Genetics
  • BIOS2202 Molecular Genetics and Conservation
Level 6 (Year 3)
  • BIOS3041 Plant Development and Physiology
  • BIOS3002 Dissertation Module (Module Leader)


Past PhD Supervision Students

  • Dr Ilario Siciliano: Effect of plant wee1 on the cell cycle and development in Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum (2006).
  • Dr Sam Harding: Inflorescence development in Allium ampeloprasum var. Babingtonii (Babington’s leek) (2004).
  • Dr Craig Orchard: The relationship between programmed cell death and the cell cycle in the tobacco BY-2 cell line (2004).
  • Dr David Parfitt: A study of glucose signalling and gene expression in early flower development in the short-day plant Pharbitis nil (Japanese morning glory) (2003).
  • Dr Helen West: Competing divalent cations in biological systems (2001).
  • Dr Gemma Allnutt: Characterisation of a LEAFY homologue, a gene regulating floral meristem identity, from the model long-day plant Silene coeli rosa (2000).
  • Dr Mike Morris: Studies in the behaviour of a nitrifying vertical flow constructed wetland wastewater treatment system (1999).
  • Dr Simon Durdan: Studies on floral determination in the short-day plant, Pharbitis nil and the long-day plant Silene coeli rosa (1998). 

Current PhD Supervision Students

  • Anne Lentz: Regulation of the cell cycle and stress responses in Arabidopsis through 14-3-3 proteins (jointly with Cardiff University).
  • Natasha Spadafora: Studies on Arath;CDC25 a putative regulator of the plant cell cycle (jointly with Cardiff University). 

Research Interests

Professional Bodies

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Institute of Biology
  • Member of the International working group on flowering



Spadafora, N.D., Cocetta, G., Ferrante, A., Herbert, Rob, Dimitrova, S., Davoli, D., Fernández, M., Patterson, V., Vozel, T. and Amarysti, C. (2019)  Plants, 9 (1). Article no. 4. ISSN EISSN 2223-7747

Siciliano, Ilario, Lentz Grønlund, A., Šev膷íková, H., Spadafora, Natasha D., Rafiei, G., Francis, D., Herbert, Rob, Bitonti, M.B., Rogers, H.J. and Lipavská, H. (2019)  Scientific Reports, 9 (1). Article no. 8695. ISSN Online: 2045-2322

Amaro, A.L., Spadafora, N.D., Pereira, M.J., Dhorajiwala, R., Herbert, Rob, Müller, C.T., Rogers, H.J. and Pintado, M. (2018)  Food Chemistry, 241. pp. 222-231. ISSN 0308-8146

Sady艣, M., Kaczmarek, J., Grinn-Gofro艅, A., Rodinkova, V., Prikhodko, A., Bilous, E., Strzelczak, A., Herbert, Rob and J臋dryczka, M. (2018)  International Journal of Biometeorology, 62 (6). pp. 979-990. ISSN 0020-7128 Online: 1432-1254

Sady艣, Magdalena, Adams-Groom, Beverley, Herbert, Rob and Kennedy, Roy (2016)  Aerobiologia, 32 (4). pp. 619-634. ISSN 0393-5965 Online: 1573-3025

Herbert, Rob (2013)  Journal of Experimental Botany, 64 (7). pp. 2093-2106. ISSN Online ISSN 1460-2431 - Print ISSN 0022-0957

Herbert, Rob (2012)  Plant Growth Regulation, 68 (2). pp. 211-221. ISSN 0167-6903 (print version) ISSN: 1573-5087 (electronic version)

Spadafora, N.D., Perrota, L., Nieuwland, J., Albini, D., Bitonti, M.B., Herbert, Rob, Doonan, J.H., Marchbank, A., Siciliano, Ilario, Lentz Grønlund, A., Francis, D. and Rogers, H.J. (2012)  Annals of Botany, 110 (8). pp. 1631-1639. ISSN Print: 0305-7364 Online: 1095-8290

Spadafora, N.D., Parfitt, D., Marchbank, A., Li, S., Bruno, L., Vaughn, R., Nieuwland, J., Buchanan-Wollaston, V., Herbert, Rob, Bitonti, M.B., Doonan, J., Albani, D., Prinsen, E., Francis, D. and Rogers, H.J. (2012)  BMC Plant Biology, 12 (45). pp. 1-15. ISSN 1471-2229

Spadafora, N.D., Doonan, J., Herbert, Rob, Bitonti, M.B., Wallace, E., Rogers, H.J. and Francis, D. (2010)  Annals of Botany. ISSN Electronic 1095-8290 - Print 0305-7364

Herbert, Rob, Gronlund, A.L., Dickinson, J.R., Killie, P., Harwood, J.L., Francis, D. and Rogers, H.J. (2009)  Open Plant Science Journal, 3. pp. 40-48. ISSN 10.2174/1874294700903010040

Allnutt, G.V., Rogers, H.J., Francis, D. and Herbert, Rob (2007)  Journal of Experimental Botany, 58 (8). pp. 2249-2259. ISSN Online ISSN 1460-2431 - Print ISSN 0022-0957

Herbert, Rob, Orchard, C.B., Sorrell, D.A., Marchbank, A., Rogers, H.J., Suchomelova, P., Lipavská, H. and Azmi, A. (2005)  The Plant Journal, 44 (2). pp. 290-299. ISSN 0960-7412

Herbert, Rob, Parfitt, D., Rogers, H.J. and Francis, D. (2004)  Journal of Experimental Botany, 55 (406). pp. 2169-2177. ISSN Online ISSN 1460-2431 - Print ISSN 0022-0957

West, H.K., Morgan, A.J., Bowker, D.W., Stuart Davis, M. and Herbert, Rob (2003)  Pedobiologia, 47 (5-6). pp. 535-541. ISSN 0031-4056

Herbert, Rob, Vilhar, B., Evett, C., Orchard, C.B., Rogers, H.J., Davies, M.S. and Francis, D. (2001)  Journal of Experimental Botany, 52 (362). pp. 1615-1623. ISSN Online ISSN 1460-2431 - Print ISSN 0022-0957

Herbert, Rob, West, H.K., Davies, M.S. and Morgan, A.J. (2001)  European Journal of Soil Biology, 37 (4). pp. 329-332. ISSN 1164-5563

Herbert, Rob, Durdan, S.F., Rogers, H.J. and Francis, D. (2000)  Plant Physiology, 123. pp. 189-200. ISSN Print 0032-0889 Online 1532-2548

Herbert, Rob, Durdan, S.F. and Francis, D. (1998)  Planta, 207 (2). pp. 235-240. ISSN 0032-0935 (Print) 1432-2048 (Online)

Herbert, Rob, Francis, D., Rogers, H.J. and Durdan, S.F. (1998)  Flowering Newsletter, 26. pp. 47-54.

Herbert, Rob and Morris, Mike (1997)  Water Science and Technology, 35 (5). pp. 197-204. ISSN 0273-1223

Herbert, Rob, Francis, D., Davies, N.C., Braybrook, C. and James, N.C. (1995)  Journal of Experimental Botany, 46 (12). pp. 1887-1894. ISSN Online ISSN 1460-2431 - Print ISSN 0022-0957

Herbert, Rob, Francis, D. and Ormrod, J.C. (1992)  Physiologia Plantarum, 86 (1). pp. 85-92. ISSN 0031-9317

Book Sections

Herbert, Rob and Francis, D. (1993)  In: Molecular and cell biology of the plant cell cycle : proceedings of a meeting held at Lancaster University, 9-10 April 1992. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 201-210. ISBN 079231767X


Herbert, Rob (1991)  PhD thesis, Cardiff University.

University Roles & External Responsibilities

Programme Leader for Biological Sciences