My 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.
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.
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