Professor Ian Bingham

Research Interests

Ibingham lthumbMy current research interests are in developing and applying an understanding of the physiological determinants of resource use efficiency (especially nitrogen use efficiency) and the response of crops to foliar disease to guide management practice and improve the sustainability of production. Physiological questions are addressed at the tissue, whole plant and crop scales. Modelling is used to integrate understanding across these scales and to investigate the complex interactions between soil, root and crop canopy processes. Research on nitrogen use efficiency is seeking to identify the physiological mechanisms and morphological traits associated with efficient capture and utilization of N by barley. Research on disease management of barley is currently focused on 1) quantifying the impact of asymptomatic and symptom expressing phases of Ramularia collo-cygni infection on yield formation and 2) rationalizing fungicide use by targeting treatments according to the likely crop response. In addition to publication in the scientific literature, the results of my research are used in advisory publications and to support other forms of extension work for the agricultural industry.

Research Projects

  • Scottish Government – Strategic Research Programme Theme 2. RDs 2.1.1 & 2.1.3
  • BBSRC Newton Fund – NCircle. Partners Universities of Aberdeen, Cambridge and East Anglia, ADAS, NIAB and Institutes in China (CAAS, CAS, CAU, CNU, NAU, NNU, Zhejiang Univ)
  • AHDB – Updating N and S fertilizer recommendations for spring barley. Partners ADAS, Industry.
  • Mains of Loirston Trust – Spring barley Integrated Pest Management

Research Students

  • Robert Beattie - Understanding the control of yield formation in two- and six-row winter barley varieties to target disease management (PhD student). Co supervisors Dr John Finnan (Teagasc), Mr John Spink Teagasc), Dr Caroline Nichol (University of Edinburgh).
  • Clarinda Burrell - Understanding interactions between Ramularia collo-cygni and barley leaf physiology to target improvements in host resistance and disease control strategies (PhD student). Co supervisors Dr Neil Havis (SRUC), Dr Steven Spoel (University of Edinburgh).
  • Diana Garzon - Understanding the physiological and molecular basis of post-flowering N dynamics in barley to improve nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) (PhD student). Co supervisors, Dr Susanne Barth (Teagsac), Dr Peter Doerner (University of Edinburgh).


  • Undergraduate curriculum/programme development
  • Unit/course leader for:
    • Plant Physiology; Crop Physiology & Breeding (SRUC BSc Agriculture and Horticulture programmes).
    • Science for Agriculture: Cells to Organisms and Crop Physiology & Agronomy (Univ Edinburgh Global Academy/SRUC joint BSc Agricultural Science programmes).

I also contribute to teaching on a range of other Agriculture courses and am a member of the Learning and Teaching Committee for the University of Edinburgh Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security.

Selected Publications

  • Kennedy SP, Lynch JP, Spink J, Bingham IJ. (2018). Grain number and grain filling of two-row malting barley in response to variation in post-anthesis radiation: Analysis by grain position on the ear and its implications for yield improvement and quality. Field Crops Research 225, 74-82 
  • Van den Berg F, Paveley ND, Bingham IJ, van den Bosch F. (2017). Physiological traits determining yield tolerance of wheat to foliar disease. Phytopathology 107: 1468-1478.
  • Kennedy SP, Bingham IJ, Spink JH. (2017). Determinants of spring barley yield in a high-yield potential environment. Journal of Agricultural Science 155 : 60-80
  • Zhang XB, Nan S, Wu L, Xu MG, Bingham IJ, Li ZF. (2016). Effects of enhancing soil organic carbon sequestration in the top soil by fertilization on crop productivity and stability: Evidence from long-term experiments with wheat-maize cropping systems in China. Science of the Total Environment 562: 247-259
  • Hess L, Meir P, Bingham IJ. (2015). Comparative assessment of the sensitivity of oilseed rape and wheat to limited water supply. Annals of Applied Biology 167: 102-115
  • Ney B, Bancal MO, Bancal P, Bingham IJ, Foulkes J, Gouache D, Paveley N, Smith J. (2013). Crop architecture and crop tolerance to fungal pathogens and insect herbivory. Mechanisms to limit crop losses. European Journal of Plant Pathology. 135: 561-580
  • Bingham IJ, Hoad SP, Thomas WTB, Newton AC. (2012). Yield response to fungicide of spring barley genotypes differing in disease susceptibility and canopy structure. Field Crops Research 139: 9-19
  • Bingham IJ. (2012). Factors affecting the longevity of clover roots following shoot excision and its implications for managing N cycling in arable cropping systems. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 50: 199-207
  • Walters DR, Avrova A, Bingham IJ, Burnett FJ, Fountaine J, Havis ND, Hoad SP, Hughes G, Loosely M, Oxley JP, Renwick A, Topp CFE, Newton AC. (2012). Control of foliar diseases in barley: towards an integrated approach. European Journal of Plant Pathology 133: 33-73
  • Bingham IJ, Karley AJ, White PJ, Thomas WTB, Russell JR. (2012). Analysis of improvements in nitrogen use efficiency associated with 75 years of spring barley breeding. European Journal of Agronomy 42: 49-58
  • Bingham IJ, Wu L. (2011). Simulation of wheat growth using the 3D root architecture model SPACSYS: Validation and sensitivity analysis. European Journal of Agronomy 34: 181-189

Professor Ian Bingham

Professor of Crop Physiology

Address: Crop & Soils Systems, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4207