Research theme: Biodiversity

Our biodiversity research

We explore the extensive natural and induced genetic variation present in unique and expanding collections of barley germplasm to understand morphological, developmental and environmentally adaptive traits at a phenotypic and molecular level. An overarching aim of this research is to establish the identity, diversity and evolution of the genes and variants that confer these traits. 

Geographical partitioning of diversity.

We develop new tools and strategies to evaluate phenotypic and molecular diversity and use these to investigate traits of potential value in crop improvement. We adopt a comprehensive suite of contemporary skills in genetics and crop improvement alongside multi-omic molecular and high resolution phenotypic characterisation to provide biological understanding of the consequences of observed diversity and its impact on overall performance. 

A deep understanding of the genetic variation observed across the biological range of the species is the platform that underpins all that we do and provides a launchpad for all gene and trait discovery programs within this theme.

The difference in the ‘time to flowering’ of the barley cultivar Bonus and a Bonus derivative containing an induced mutation in a gene called HvCEN.   

Research team

Find out more about the staff working under the Biodiveristy theme and the projects they are taking part in.

Dr Joanne Russell

Barley Geneticist

Dr Luke Ramsay

Barley Geneticist

Dr Sebastien Belanger

Principal Investigator

Dr Dominika Lewandowska

Research Scientist

Dr Miriam Schreiber

Computational Biologist

Dr Sarah McKim

Principal Investigator and senior lecturer

Professor Robbie Waugh

Scientific Director

Dr Isabelle Colas

Plant Molecular Geneticist

Dr Chiara Campoli

Barley Geneticist

Dr Pete Hedley

Head of Core Technologies

Dr Tim George

Rhizosphere Scientist

Dr Davide Bulgareli

Senior Lecturer

Dr Craig Simpson

Senior Research Scientist

Dr Kelly Houston

Barley Geneticist

Malcolm Macaulay

Research Assistant

Dr Micha Bayer

Bioinformatics Specialist

Dr Ruth Hamilton

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Edgar Huitema

Principal Investigator