Alison Smith is Professor of Plant Biochemistry and Head of Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge.
Her current research interests are focused around the use of synthetic biology approaches for metabolic engineering of algae, microbial consortia for optimizing growth of dense algal cultures for industrial cultivation, using algal growth to valorise waste streams and developing algal biomass with enhanced nutritional profiles. In 2016 she established the Algal Innovation Centre in Cambridge, a pilot-scale facility to allow testing of algal-based solutions under natural conditions.
She is currently a Trustee of the Marine Biological Association (MBA) of the UK and previously of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, a charity aimed at promoting science, including serving as its President in 2010-2011. She is a Fellow of both the MBA and the Royal Society of Biology.