About me

My name is Dr Anne Osterrieder. As a Lecturer in Biology and Science Communication at Oxford Brookes University, I am very passionate about making research more accessible and interesting for everyone. Therefore I started this weblog to share fascinating and entertaining articles and links about plant cell biology, plants and general science. I am especially keen on collecting engaging and visual resources, such as videos, science songs or interactive websites.


My outreach activities

In my role I am facilitating science communication and public engagement training events and activities for researchers. I am leading the team organising the Brookes Science Bazaar over the last years. I am also collaborating with the Oxford Brookes English department and the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre. Other projects I am involved include our CSI Biotechnology School Loan Kit Scheme, Brookes@Pegasus or the International Fascination of Plants Day on 18th May.

I have a great interest in online engagement and using social media for science communication. You can find me on Twitter (@AnneOsterrieder) and Google+. Over the last years I have given many presentations and workshops on research blogging and social media in the UK and at international conferences. In collaboration with musicians and other plant cell biologists I am  producing science music videos which can be viewed on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/plantendomembrane.

In 2012 I received the SEB’s President’s Medal 2012 for Education and Public Affairs as recognition for my science communication achievements.



Do they mean us? – Science in fiction TV shows: do they get it wrong – and does it matter?” The Biochemist, 2012.

My not-so-secret-anymore double life” SpotOn London 2012, Nature.com, 2012. .

How should researchers talk about science to the public?” Guardian Higher Education Network, 2012.

“Shedding light on Plant Cell Biology” Biological Sciences Review Issue 1, September 2012.

Could we improve discussion at scientific conferences?” SEB Bulletin 2011

“Growing Concern: Engaging the public with issues involving GM” Conference Report, Science Communcation Conference 2011


My research

In my research I am studying the formation and structural maintenance of the plant Golgi apparatus. The Golgi apparatus lies in the centre of the secretory pathway, a complex membrane system conserved in all eukaryotic cells. It is similar to a compartmentalised conveyor belt system in a factory: it processes, distributes and stores a range of important proteins such as storage proteins in cereal grains or proteins involved in plant stress responses. In animal cells  the Golgi apparatus is organised as a single large ribbon. A plant cell however can have up to hundreds of small mobile Golgi bodies which move along the cytoskeleton over the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Golgi bodies contain enzymes that attach sugars to proteins, they pack and ship protein cargo and lipids and produce material for the cell wall.


In animal cells a family of proteins, the golgins, functions in the regulation of protein transport between the ER and the Golgi. It also acts as a structural scaffold, or Golgi matrix, for Golgi cisternae. I am studying arabidopsis homologues of these proteins to see if they take over similar functions in plants. I am especially interested in proteins that act at the ER-Golgi interface and might anchor Golgi bodies to the ER surface.

To characterise these proteins I am using advanced confocal laser scanning microscopy methods such as fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) to study interactions between golgins and small GTPases or optical laser tweezers to pull Golgi bodies away from the ER in living plant cells.



Book chapters

  • Hawes C., Osterrieder A., Sparkes I. (2008). Features of the plant Golgi apparatus. In: Mironov A, Pavelka M, editors. The Golgi Apparatus State of the art 110 years after Camillo Golgi’s discovery. Wien, New York: Springer; p. 611-623.