Miscanthus breeding, ecophysiology, climate change impacts and modelling.
Public and privately funded work
Underpinning science for breeding
Public funding and many collaborations
- Flowering time
- Water supply
- Resource capture and allocation
1993 Research Assistant, I.A.T.A., Florence, Italy.
1997-2000 Assistant co-ordinator to the European Miscanthus Improvement Project while based in University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart.
2000-2002 Term lecturer in Plant Physiology at Trinity College Dublin.
2002-2004 Site manager for the Greengrass and CCFLUX projects based at Teagasc, Carlow, Ireland.
2004 - present To build up a UK Miscanthus breeding programme.
2011-2016 Research Group Leader for Breeding and Modelling
2016 - present Research Group leader for Plant Biology for the Sustainable Bioecononmy
I was recruited to IGER (which merged into IBERS in 2008) to lead the Miscanthus breeding programme in August 2004.
My background up to this date was in ecophysiology (incorporating agronomy and quantification of greenhouse gas fluxes). I have worked closely with breeders of other crops in IBERS where we share resources and expertise. Since 2004 we have managed to build up a complete breeding pipeline for Miscanthus from wild germplasm to commercially licenced Miscanthus hybrids (2019).
Breeding throws up many interesting scientific challenges to resolve such as flowering initiation and flowering synchronisation, pollination control, seed science, early plant development and long term yield. I have a strong interest in understanding GXE, in particular those traits relating to abiotic resilience, using both multi-location field trials and controlled environment experiments.
BA Natural Science, Trinity College Dublin (1989-92)
PhD Plant Physiology and Agronomy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (1993-97)
Thesis title: The importance of temperature in controlling leaf growth of _Miscanthus_in Temperate Climates.
Awarded a personal chair in Miscanthus Breeding and Modelling in 2015.
Committee, editorial and other responsibilities
Regular reviewer of papers for Global Change Biology-Bioenergy (and guest editor), Industrial Crops and Products and Biomass and Bioenergy.