BSc Biochemistry York 1985
PhD Plant Biochemistry Sheffield 1988
Research Assistant/Fellow in Lancaster and Bangor 1988-1998
Genetic variation in rice at the breeding, physiological and molecular level, in particular:
- Quantitative trait loci (QTL) and association mapping of drought avoidance mechanisms including root growth and stomatal sensitivity and multi-location field drought resistance.
- QTL mapping major and partial resistance to biotic factors including the most important fungal pathogen of rice (blast), the serious pest the root-knot nematode and the parasitic plant Striga (the most important biological contsraint in African agriculture)
- Elucidating the effects of environment on QTL expression
- Genetic variation for arsenic tolerance, uptake and metabolism
- Elucidating the physiological and molecular mechanism responsible for genetic variation identified above
- Identifying candidate genes for the above via bioinformatics, gene expression (including whole genome transcriptomics and Q-PCR), and gene and genome sequencing.
The use of molecular markers to study biological questions in particular:
- Genetic diversity and population genetics in tropical trees
- Reproductive strategies of Fragaria (strawberry) species
- 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 Mymensingh University. £1.1 M with £922 K to Aberdeen. I am PI with Co-Is Professor Meharg and Salt and Dr Ebenhoeh. Start February 2012, end January 2016.
- EU-FP7 project "EURoot: Enhancing resource Uptake from Roots under stress in cereal crops". €3 M, 20 partner project with €209 to Aberdeen. Dissemination workpackage coordinator. Start Jan 2012, end December 2015.
- EU-FP7 Marie Curie Incoming Fellowship "LowAsRice" for Tapash Dasgupta, Calcutta University. Start date in negotiation. Budget £207k.
- Generations Challenge Program funded project "Targeting Drought-Avoidance Root Traits to Enhance Rice Productivity under Water-Limited Environments". Three year project with 10 partners in Philippines, India, Australia, USA, Nigeria, Tanzania, Japan and UK, coordinated by Rachid Serraj, IRRI. Start 1st December 2008. Budget $104k (of total grant $900k).
- BBSRC funded project "Characterizing genetic & soil induced variation in arsenic uptake, translocation & metabolism in rice to mitigate arsenic contamination in Asia" with Andy Meharg and Jorg Feldmann in collaboration with Rothamsted Research, UK, and research laboratories in Bangladesh, India and China. Start December 2007. Budget £412k (of total grant £617k).
- CEDROME; EU INCO-DEV funded project "Developing drought-tolerant cereals to support efficient water management in the Mediterranean area" in collaboration with partners in Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, China, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. Start 1st January 2006. Budget 290k Euro (of 1.7M Euro)
- BBSRC funded project "What makes rice roots able to penetrate hard layers? An integrated biophysical, modelling, genetic and molecular approach". Start October 2004, end October 2007. Funds held £209,000.
- BBSRC funded project 'Genetic dissection of environmental influence on root growth in rice using QTL analysis'. Start November 2000, end October 2003. Funds held £138,000.
- RESIDEV; EU INCO-DEV funded project 'Exploring the genetic diversity of rice-blast host-pathogen interactions in China: a tool to improve breeding for resistance to blast disease.' in collaboration with two labs in France and two in China. Start March 2001, end September 2003. Funds held 159,275 ECU (of total grant 903,230 ECU)
- BBSRC funded project 'The development of Near Isogenic Lines at root growth and drought resistance Quantitative Trait Loci in upland rice'. Start November 1999, end January 2001. Funds held £30,592.
- DFID Plant Sciences Programme funded project 'Analysis of environmental effects on expression of root penetration QTLs in Upland Rice, and development of PCR markers for QTL selection in drought resistance breeding'. Start 1st August 1999, end 31 July 2002. Funds held £86,556 (of total grant £165,017).
- Further Info
External Examiner for MSc Crop Improvement, University of Nottingham
External Examiner for University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Digging rice roots in West Africa (left), heat map of drought-related QTLs on the 12 chromosomes of the Bala x Azucena mapping population of rice (centre) and rice roots in soil (right).