Our Research

Years of research has provided a deep understanding of how plants function, creating opportunities to transform the way we produce our food. I am motivated to improve the sustainability and the equity of food production worldwide.

Professor Giles Oldroyd
CSC Director

Looking at monitor

Sustainable crop nutrition, enhancing photosynthesis, reducing losses from pests and pathogens, and crop breeding technologies

Research groups

Natasha Yelina

Crop breeding technologies

Led by Natasha Yelina

Novel breeding technologies in legume crops to enhance the production of new cultivars adapted to changing climatic conditions, as well as having sustainable yields.

Jeongmin Choi

Crop resilience

Led by Jeongmin Choi

As sessile organisms, plants have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to help cope with environmental stress.

Uta Paszkowski

Cereal symbiosis

Led by Uta Paszkowski

The mutually beneficial arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis is the most widespread association between roots of terrestrial plants and fungi of the Glomeromycota.

Lida Derevnina

Crop pathogen immunity

Led by Lida Derevnina

We aim to functionally characterise the NRC network and determine the molecular basis of NLR network mediated immunity.

Giles Oldroyd

Sustainable crop nutrition

Led by Giles Oldroyd

The availability of sources of nitrogen and phosphorus are major limitations to crop productivity. This is primarily addressed through the application of inorganic fertilisers to augment these limiting nutrients.

Sebastian Eves-van den Akker

Plant-parasitic interactions

Led by Sebastian Eves-van den Akker

Combining genomics and molecular biology to understand fundamental questions in host:parasite biology

Ji Zhou

Artificial intelligence and data sciences

Led by Ji Zhou

This group combines AI, computer vision, and data analytics with expertise in plant phenotyping, breeding, and agronomy to enhance crop production in the UK and developing countries

Phil Howell

Crop genetic resources

Led by Phil Howell

Our research group carries out the development and characterisation of existing and new crop genetic resources, drawing on NIAB’s experience in genetics, pre-breeding, field testing and tissue culture.

Stéphanie Swarbreck

Crop molecular physiology

Led by Stéphanie Swarbreck

Crop Molecular Physiology group researches nitrogen responsiveness at the gene, the whole plant and the plot level, in order to discover and select crop varieties with a low nitrogen requirement and well adapted to regenerative agriculture practises.

Johannes Kromdijk

Environmental plant physiology

Led by Johannes Kromdijk

This group studies the physiology of photosynthesis and its interactions with environmental drivers such as light, water, temperature and CO2 with the ultimate aim to improve crop productivity and water use efficiency.

Tally Wright

Crop quantitative genetics

Led by Tally Wright

The quantitative genetics research group focuses on how genetic variation between different crop accessions can influence their phenotypes, particularly for traits controlled by many genes.

Kostya Kanyuka

Pathogenomics and disease resistance

Led by Kostya Kanyuka

Kostya leads the Pathogenomics & Disease Resistance group at the Crop Science Centre and is Head of Plant Pathology at NIAB where he leads strategic, applied, and commercial research encompassing biology, detection, surveillance, and management of di

Ian Henderson

Genetic and epigenetic inheritance in plants

Led by Ian Henderson

The Genetic and Epigenetic Inheritance group investigates plant genome structure, function, and evolution. T

We focus on

Sustainable nutrient capture

Improving crop plant access to sustainable sources of nitrogen and phosphorus, replacing the need for inorganic fertilizers.

Reducing losses from pests and diseases

Finding sustainable ways to reduce yield losses from pests and diseases.

Improving crop breeding

Developing technologies that increase the pace and impact of crop breeding.

Increasing yield potential through improved photosynthesis

Raising the potential yield ceiling through enhancing photosynthetic efficiency.

About us

Improvements in agriculture during the 20th Century were highly reliant on chemical inputs, such as inorganic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides.

However, these chemical inputs increased crop yields at the expense of terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity. Furthermore, since they can be prohibitively expensive or inaccessible for some smallholder farmers, their use has deepened inequity of crop yields.

The Centre provides leadership in crop sciences, with a creative and dynamic research culture, motivated by improvement of agriculture for the betterment of society.

Learn more
A scientist using a microscope.

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