Leyser is a plant biologist whose main research interests are the genetics of plant development and the role of plant hormones in integrating endogenous and environmental developmental inputs. Her research primarily concentrates on shoot branching models. She combines molecular biological, physiological and quantitative genetic approaches with computational modelling to understand environmentally responsive shoot branching patterns. Leyser is the Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory and a Fellow of Clare College. Among her honours are the Society of Experimental Biology’s President’s Medal (2000), the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award (2007) and the International Plant Growth Substance Association’s Silver Medal (2010).