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Dr Henry Creissen

Crop Protection
Crop & Soil Systems Research

Research interests 

I have a background in ecology and evolutionary biology with application to agriculture. I am particularly interested the wide range of approaches that can be employed to protect crops against biotic stresses. My research is currently targeted towards developing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies in order to reduce reliance on fungicides in arable farming systems. I also work with stakeholders to understand the barriers to adoption of best pest management practices and identify solutions to overcome them.

My research interests include:

  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Applied plant pathology
  • Plant ecology
  • Agronomy
  • Agroecology
  • Organic crop production
  • Diverse cropping systems
  • Sustainable farming practices
  • Factors influencing adoption of best practice

Selected research projects

  • Integrated disease management of arable crops (funded by the Scottish government under RD2.1.6 Integrated Pest Management).
  • Cropping system solutions to managing diseases (funded by the Scottish government under RD2.3.9 Integrated Management Systems).
  • Identifying and overcoming barriers to adoption of integrated pest management practices (funded by the Scottish government under RD2.3.12 Uptake of Best Practice).  
  • Integrated disease management of winter barley (3 projects funded by Mains of Loirston trust)
    • Integrated approaches to disease management of winter barley crops through use of varietal mixtures.
    • Combining agronomic techniques (including altering fertiliser and fungicide inputs) to produce a profitable winter barley crop in a sustainable fashion. 
    • Investigating the combined effects of tillage regime and crop variety on fungicide requirement of winter barley crops.
  • Network analysis – where do people in Scotland get their plant health information (funded by the Plant Health Centre)
    Expanding interdisciplinary networks to improve capacity to respond to threats across all plant health sectors. Engaging effectively with stakeholders of the PHC, providing evidence to meet their needs and encourage uptake of findings.
  • EPIC ‘Establishing a Platform for Integrated Pest Management in Irish Crops’ (funded by DAFM).
    Conducting field, laboratory and desk based studies aimed at improving, and increasing adoption of, IPM strategies.
  • Improving Knowledge Transfer Relating to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on Irish Tillage Farms (funded by Teagasc/University College Dublin)
    Involved conducting detailed surveys of Irish tillage farmers in order to understand perception of IPM and levels of IPM adopted. Semi-structured interviews and network analysis were also carried out to assist knowledge transfer providers in improving the delivery of IPM messages to growers.
  • COBRA ‘Coordinating Organic plant BReeding Activities for diversity’ (funded under CORE organic II).
    Breeding cereal and grain legume crops for increased resilience to stress. My role involved project management (Deputy Coordinator), and conducting various field trials involving highly diverse genetic material.
  • OSCAR ‘Optimising Subsidiary Crop Applications in Rotations’ (funded by the EU under FP7) 
    Investigating key factors influencing the success of cover cropping including cultivation methods, machinery and plant genotype. In addition to field trials work I was heavily involved in the knowledge exchange work package. 
  • The role of genotypic diversity in stabilising plant productivity in variable environments (BBSRC funded PhD)
    Laboratory, glasshouse and field based experiments were used to investigate the ecological mechanisms leading to yield stability in crop varietal mixtures. PhD Thesis, John Innes Centre/University of East Anglia.


  • SRUC degree programmes I teach on:  BSc Agriculture, BSc Horticulture, MSc Agricultural Professional Practice, MSc Sustainable Plant Health, 
  • SRUC modules I contribute towards: Arable Crop Production (HNC), Plant Protection (HNC), Plant Protection-Integrated Approaches (HND), Organic Production Systems (HND), New Perspectives in Plant Protection (BSc), Informed Crop Management (BSc Hons), Arable Crop Protection (MSc), Fundamentals of Plant Health (MSc), 
  • I teach on Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security (University of Edinburgh/SRUC) courses: BSc Science for Agri-food Systems (Interactions within Systems module) and the MSc Global Food Security & Nutrition (Sustainable Food Production module).
  • I am a guest lecturer for the Fungi and Plant Pathology module of the Plant Science (BSc Hons), University of Edinburgh. 
  • I also teach on the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection IPM (Agriculture).

PhD students

None at present.

Selected publications

  • Creissen, H.E., Jones, P.J., Tranter, R.B., Girling, R.D., Jess, J., Burnett, F.J., Gaffney, M., Thorne, F.S., Kildea, S. 2019. Measuring the unmeasurable? A method to quantify adoption of Integrated Pest Management practices in temperate arable farming systems. Pest Management Science. 
  • Creissen, H.E., Glynn, E., Spink, J.H., Kildea, S. 2018. The effect of fungicides applied pre-stem extension on septoria tritici blotch and yield of winter wheat in Ireland. Crop Protection 104, 7-10. 
  • Fradgley, N., Creissen, H.E., Pearce, H., Howlett, S.A., Pearce, B.D., Döring, T., Girling R.D. 2017. Weed suppression and tolerance in winter oats. Weed Technology 31 (5), 740-751. 
  • Creissen, H.E., Jorgensen, T.H., Brown, J.K.M. 2016. Increased yield stability of field-grown winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) varietal mixtures through ecological processes. Crop Protection 85, 1-8.
  • Lampkin, N.H., Pearce, B.D., Leake, A.R., Creissen, H., Gerrard, C.L., Girling, R., Lloyd, S., Padel, S., Smith, J., Smith, L.G., Vieweger, A., Wolfe, M.S. 2015. The role of agroecology in sustainable intensification. Report for the Land Use Policy Group. Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm and Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust.
  • Creissen, H.E., Jorgensen, T.H., Brown, J.K.M. 2015. Impact of disease on diversity and productivity of plant populations. Functional Ecology 30, 649–657. 
  • Creissen, H.E., Jorgensen, T.H., Brown, J.K.M. 2013. Stabilization of yield in plant genotype mixtures through compensation rather than complementation. Annals of Botany 112 (7), 1439-1447.


Dr Henry Creissen

Henry Creissen


Address: Crop & Soil Systems, Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Main Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3JG

Telephone: 01315354119