Dr Gareth Norton


Dr Gareth Norton

Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0)1224 272409
Email: g.norton@abdn.ac.uk
Address: Cruickshank Building - G41 School of Biological Sciences University of Aberdeen Aberdeen AB24 3UU


BSc (Hons), Molecular Biology, University of Hertfordshire, 2001

PhD, Plant Molecular Biology, University of Hertfordshire, 2005

Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen, 2005-2013

Lecturer, University of Aberdeen, 2013-present

Research Interests

My research interests include the accumulation and distribution of elements in plants and their impact on human health and food security, with a focus on arsenic and beneficial minerals such as zinc. I have been integrating elemental concentrations with genetic mapping, genomics, and transcriptomics, with the aim of identifying genes and the mechanisms responsible for the accumulation of elements in plants. I also have an interest in understanding the processes involved in arsenic (and other metals) cycling in the environment.

Current Research

Current research group.

PhD students.

Mohammad Sayedul Islam – “Physiological and Molecular characterization of adaptation to alternative wetting and drying in Bangladeshi rice cultivars”

Partha Talukdar – “The transfer mechanism of arsenic in rice from the shoot to the grain during grain filling.”

Tanvir Chowdhury – “Biogeochemical cycling of elements in Bangladeshi soils”

Munmi Phukon - "Transcriptomics study of rice in response to alternate wetting and drying irrigation”

Natasha Falconer – “Rice: balancing sustainable agricultural production methods and cultivar diversity with nutrient content and contaminant levels - a Bangladeshi dietary modelling proof of concept project"

Barry Nourice – “Managing Plant Irrigation with Brackish and Saline Waters”

Jonathan Cope – “Introgressing resilience and resource use efficiency traits from Scots Bere to elite barley”


Research technician

Claire Deacon


Former research group.

PhD student

Zainab Abubakar Adamu – “Genetics of drought resistance in rice: Role of aquaporins on root hydraulic conductance and water use traits in rice”. Finished 2015




Research Grants

BBSRC funded project “A genetic dissection of traits required for sustainable water use in rice using Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)” joint with Lancaster, the International Rice Research Institute and Bangladesh Agricultral University (Mymensingh). £1.1 M with £922 K to Aberdeen. Co-I (P.I. Adam Price). Start February 2012, end January 2016.

Scotish Funding Council - via Food and Drink Network "Indetifying environmental factors which cause varaiation in fatty acid composition in rapeseed oil". £5K. P.I. (Co-I's; Prof Paul Hallett and Prof David Salt).

Teaching Responsibilities

Programme Coordinator:

BSc Environmental Science

MSc Environmental Science (Joint with Prof. Graeme Paton and Dr Vasilis Louca)


Course coordinator:

EV3801 / EV5800: Environmental Analysis

BI4301 / BI5301: Environmental Pollution

PL3309 / SS5305: Soils for Food Security (Joint with Prof. Graeme Paton and Prof. Paul Hallett)

SS5805: Land Use and the Changing Environment on Deeside (Joint with Prof. Graeme Paton)



School exams officer

External Responsibilities

Editor for Agronomy – http://www.mdpi.com/journal/agronomy

Guest editor of the Agronomy special issues “Accumulation and Distribution of Elements in Crop Plants” - http://www.mdpi.com/journal/agronomy/special_issues/accumulation-elements



American Chemical Society (ACS) - https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en.html

SAGES - http://www.sages.ac.uk/


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