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Arable Scotland's Arable Conversations: Net-Zero - Making Carbon Pay (News)

Scotland has a legally binding commitment of being net-zero by 2045, and a 31% reduction is required in emissions from agriculture by 2032. This topic will be under discussion in the fourth Arable Conversations session on 29th Jun ... Read more

International Barley Hub Seminar Series: Barley Varieties - The Recommendation System (News)

The latest seminar of the International Barley Hub took place on Tuesday 22nd June and discussed Barley Varieties - The Recommendation System. It was led by Dr Paul Gosling and chaired by George Lawrie, IBH. Barley bre ... Read more

Arable Scotland's Arable Conversations: Sustainable Rotations and Soils, Legumes, Cover Crops and Cash Crops (News)

Join us at Arable Scotland on 29th June for a virtual Arable Conversation with Pete Iannetta (James Hutton Institute), Ed Brown (Hutchinsons), Dick Neale (Hutchinsons), Christine Watson (SRUC) and Paul Hargreaves (SRUC), whic ... Read more

New UK-Europe partnership to exploit barley resources and speed up breeding (News)

International Barley Hub scientists have been awarded a prestigious International Partnership award from BBSRC to strengthen the link between world leading research teams in the UK and Europe. The aim of the grant is to create new ... Read more

Arable Scotland 2021: spotlight on markets, IPM, sustainability and net-zero (News)

Arable Scotland, the premier event for the Scottish arable industry, returns on 29th June 2021. Now in its third year, the event brings together the key players in food production, academia and farming to discuss key issues and pr ... Read more

Partnership award to advance cereal science (News)

Plant scientists at the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee have won funding to establish a partnership with world-class researchers in Australia. This will allow the leading research organisations to pool their ex ... Read more

Johanna and Hechizo: a successful barley science placement (News)

Undergraduate student Johanna Maria Würtz, who undertook a 1,150-mile hike alongside her Shetland pony Hechizo to take on a barley science placement at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee, has completed her work in Scotland ... Read more

Tay Cities Deal go-ahead for International Barley Hub and Advanced Plant Growth Centre (News)

The International Barley Hub and the Advanced Plant Growth Centre, two flagship innovation projects supported through a transformational capital investment of £45m by the UK Government and £17m by the Scottish Governme ... Read more

Discovery of a gene that controls grain development may help control cereal yields (News)

The productivity of cereal crops could get a boost in the future thanks to the discovery of new roles for a master gene regulator that influences the development of barley florets, furthering the understanding of grain development ... Read more

James Hutton Institute welcomes new UK Plant Science Strategy (News)

The James Hutton Institute has welcomed the publication of the new 10-year UK Plant Science Research Strategy. The document provides a framework for research and skills development to ensure UK plant science can play a strong ro ... Read more

New appointments to boost flagship innovation initiatives (News)

The James Hutton Institute has announced the appointment of directors for three flagship research and innovation initiatives: the International Barley Hub (IBH) and the Advanced Plant Growth Centre (APGC), both based in Dundee, an ... Read more

James Hutton Institute welcomes Tay Cities Deal signing and highlights urgency of innovation projects (News)

The James Hutton Institute has today welcomed the signing of the Tay Cities Deal, hailing it as a huge vote of confidence in Tayside, while also highlighting the urgency of innovation projects funded by the Deal including the Inte ... Read more

Barley pan-genome: scientists unravel diversity of domesticated barley (News)

An international research team including scientists from the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee has reached a milestone on the way to unravelling the species-wide genetic diversity of domesticated barley. With the ... Read more

Preserving UK soil microbial biodiversity for sustainable agriculture (News)

Scientists from the UK’s foremost agricultural research organisations, including the James Hutton Institute, have teamed up to create a new UK Crop Microbiome Cryobank (UK-CMCB) to safeguard future research and facilitate th ... Read more

Germinate platform recognised as a global Hub for plant genetic research (News)

A bioinformatics platform developed at the James Hutton Institute which allows users to import, visualize, explore and share project data for plant genetic resources has been recognised by being named a global ‘Hub Pilot&rsq ... Read more

Research shows potential of gene editing to improve understanding of barley quality (News)

International Barley Hub scientists at the James Hutton Institute, working with colleagues in the UK and Australia, have gained further insight into key genes responsible for grain composition, a process facilitated by using CRISP ... Read more

Thousands log in for a digital Arable Scotland (News)

The 2020 edition of Arable Scotland – Scotland’s newest field event focussing on arable crops - took place online on 2nd July and was very well received: hundreds of e-delegates visited the event’s Virtual Field ... Read more

Online Arable Scotland 2020: expertise and knowledge for the arable industry (News)

Arable Scotland 2020, Scotland's newest field event focussing on arable crops, is taking place online on 2nd July 10:00 am and will major on alternative crops and new markets. Registration for the free event is open at www.ara ... Read more

Arable Scotland 2020: programme announced (News)

The programme for Arable Scotland 2020, Scotland's newest field event focussing on arable crops, has been announced. This year's event is taking place online and will major on alternative crops and new markets. ... Read more

Genetic discovery sheds light on sodium tolerance in barley crops (News)

International Barley Hub scientists at the James Hutton Institute, working with colleagues in the UK, Australia and China, have identified a natural variation in a gene that influences sodium content in barley crops, a finding whi ... Read more

Arable Scotland 2020 to tackle key industry challenges (News)

By Professor Fiona Burnett, Co-chair, Arable Scotland ... Read more

Hutton scientist awarded grant to explore genetic pathway to better barley (News)

Dr Isabelle Colas, a scientist of the International Barley Hub, has been awarded a New Investigator grant worth £400k by UK Research and Innovation to explore a genetic pathway to improved barley crops, with the ultimate aim ... Read more

New appointments strengthen International Barley Hub initiative (News)

The International Barley Hub, a unique platform aiming to translate barley research into commercial benefits with support from the Tay Cities Region Deal, has been reinforced through new appointments within its leadership team. Pr ... Read more

Green cover trial improves spring barley yield and benefits the environment (News)

A ground-breaking research trial conducted by the James Hutton Institute and Kings Crops, a division of Frontier Agriculture, into the impact of green cover crops in Scotland has demonstrated notable benefits for spring barley yie ... Read more

Arable Scotland 2020 - online event (Event)

Arable Scotland 2 July 2020 Online ... Read more

Focus on Ethiopian barley for improved livelihoods (News)

Food security and livelihoods for a majority of Ethiopians depends on smallholder farming, and barley is an important crop grown by over 4 million smallholder farmers for multiple uses as food, feed and as a cash crop for an emerg ... Read more

Latest research on arable crops showcased at Arable Scotland (News)

Scientists of the James Hutton Institute have discussed the latest research on arable crops as part of the launch of new event Arable Scotland, including renewed breeding efforts aimed at developing quality crops for defined marke ... Read more

Arable Conversations: a chance to speak your mind at Arable Scotland (News)

Do you have any burning questions about key issues influencing Scotland’s arable industry? Come to Arable Scotland (Balruddery Farm near Dundee, 2 July 2019), the newly launched event focussing on the innovations that will d ... Read more

Further and Higher Education Minister visits to find out about research and innovation (News)

Mr Richard Lochhead MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, today visited the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie to hear about world leading research in land, crop, wat ... Read more

Innovative genetic technique to help achieve better barley (News)

On Burns Night, let’s raise a dram to better barley: scientists based at the International Barley Hub in Dundee have developed a genotyping array that allows the detailed genetic characterisation of any individual barley var ... Read more

Arable Scotland 2019 (Event)

Arable Scotland 2 July 2019 Balruddery Farm, Dundee ... Read more

New elite barley could be a budding success (News)

New gene combinations in barley could prove a budding success for breeders and brewers across the world, according to a new study by plant scientists of the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute. The study, publish ... Read more

James Hutton Institute wins VIBES climate change award (News)

The James Hutton Institute has won a VIBES – Scottish Environment Business award in the Adaptation to Climate Change category, on account of the work of Hutton researchers in farm innovations to protect the environment, rene ... Read more

Improved genetic marker for precise and accurate EPH barley screening (News)

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute and the Scotch Whisky Research Institute (SWRI) have completed a ten-month InnovateUK funded project resulting in the development of an improved genetic marker that can be used by barley ... Read more

Barley in the spotlight at iBMW2018 meeting (News)

The use of barley genetic mutant resources to shed light into fundamental aspects of cereal biology was at the centre of discussions at the second International Barley Mutants Workshop 2018 (iBMW2018), held in Dundee with the atte ... Read more

Latest varieties and research on show at Cereals in Practice 2018 (News)

The latest cereal varieties and research will be on show at Saphock Farm in Aberdeenshire on Thursday 5th July for Cereals in Practice 2018, the annual cereals-themed event organised by the James Hutton Institute, Scotland's R ... Read more

Our work in the media: barley and social science (News)

The science of the James Hutton Institute continues to attract the interest of the media. This time, Professor Derek Stewart and Dr Andrew Copus were featured in recent BBC programmes, in which they discussed research on the nutri ... Read more

Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing visits to find out more about Hutton research and innovation (News)

Mr Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, today visited the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen to hear about our world leading scientific research in crops and climate change, as well as its commer ... Read more

Scotland’s cereal connections boosted with Fellowship awards (News)

Dundee’s position as an international hub for research into cereals – particularly barley – has been given a boost with the award of a grant which will create new connections with Australia. The award of a &pou ... Read more

Cereals in Practice 2018 (Event)

Cereals in Practice is the annual showcase of variety trials and research organised by the James Hutton Institute, SRUC (Scotland's Rural College) and the Scottish Society for Crop Research. ... Read more

Barley scientists investigate solutions to grain skinning (News)

A University of Dundee scientist based at the James Hutton Institute has been awarded more than £600,000 to study an increasing problem with the cereal crop barley that impacts the commercially important malting process and ... Read more

Barley scientists discover path to improved grain quality (News)

Scientists from the International Barley Hub have discovered a genetic pathway to improved barley grain size and uniformity, a finding which may help breeders develop future varieties suited to the needs of growers and distillers. ... Read more

Understanding the living heritage of bere barley for a more sustainable future (News)

The profile of bere barley, its potential as a source of traits for human and environmental health and as a source of living heritage was highlighted at an event recently held on and around the mainland of Orkney, featuring a rang ... Read more

Understanding heritage barley for a more sustainable future (News)

Bere barley, a type of barley thought to be the oldest cereal in continuous commercial cultivation in the far north of Britain, may hold key genetic resources to allow plant breeders to tackle issues of agricultural sustainability ... Read more

Genetic secrets of Golden Promise barley unlocked (News)

Scientists from the International Barley Hub working in collaboration with brewing industry partners have unravelled the genetic secrets of Golden Promise, a popular malting barley variety in the 1970s and 1980s, in a drive to dev ... Read more

Better barley is on the way: crop genome unravelled (News)

An international scientific consortium has reported the first high-quality genome sequence of barley, a development which will assist crop breeders in developing more resilient barley varieties suited to the requirements of the br ... Read more

Crop research updates presented at BBSRC/KTN conference (News)

Drs Hazel Bull and Lionel Dupuy, from the James Hutton Institute, joined fellow scientists from across the UK in sharing crop research updates at the New Frontiers in Crop Research Conference, organised by the Biotechnology and Bi ... Read more

Lessons in adapting to climate change from one of the world’s oldest crops (News)

How did barley, a plant native to the Middle East and South-Western Asia, become able to be grown on land from just below the Arctic Circle to the equatorial highlands and southerly latitudes? The answer lies in the combined force ... Read more

Genome of 6,000-year-old barley grains sequenced for first time (News)

An international team of researchers from leading institutions in Scotland, Germany, Israel and the USA has succeeded for the first time in sequencing the genome of 6,000 year old barley grains from the Copper Age (the Chalcolithi ... Read more

Chris Law MP visits to find out more about our research and innovation (News)

Mr Chris Law, MP for Dundee West, visited the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie to learn about exciting and innovative scientific research that is having considerable impact at home and abroad, as well as its commercial potent ... Read more

Executive Project Management Support
Capital Projects Manager
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Scotland UK


International Barley Hub project presented at UK Parliament (News)

Scientists from the James Hutton Institute were yesterday at the Houses of Parliament in London to make the case and win parliamentarians’ support for the International Barley Hub (IBH), a project that aims to create an uniq ... Read more

New light shed on microbial battleground between soil and roots (News)

The soil around roots of plants such as barley – one of our most important crops - is a battleground where only certain bacteria can survive, suggests evidence gathered by an international team including a scientist based at ... Read more

Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Research Scientist
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK



  • BSc. Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, University of St Andrews (2002)
  • MSc. Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis, Edinburgh University (2003)
  • PhD. Environmental Genomics, University of St Andrews (2007)

Current research interests

The most economically significant use of barley is for use in the production of alcoholic drinks following malting, accounting for over 1/3 of the UK barley crop.  As such, improving malting quality is a key target for barley breeders. My current research aims to support this goal by providing tools and knowledge neccessary for rapid and efficient gains in key malting quality traits.

This research uses quantitative genetic and genomic approaches to identify genetic variation for these commercially relevent traits.  Working predominantly in collaborative projects with commercial seed breeders, field phenotyping along with high-density SNP genotyping and next generation sequencing are used to ensure that these results are both scientifically robust and commercially relevent.


Past research

Identification and characterisation of host resistance to Rhynchosporium commune in barley:

  • QTL mapping and GWAS approaches to identify and localise novel host resistance
  • Alternative phenotyping methods for detailed characterisation of host-pathogen interactions
  • Screening of diverse accessions to identify novel resistance sources



  • Fitt, B.D.L.; Atkins, S.D.; Fraaije, B.A.; Lucas, J.A.; Newton, A.C.; Looseley, M.E.; Werner, P.; Harrap, D.; Ashworth, M.; Southgate, J.; Phillips, H.; Gilchrist. A. (2012) Role of inoculum sources in Rhynchosporium population dynamics and epidemics on barley., HGCA Project Report No 486, 46pp.
  • Newton, A.C.; Avrova, A.O.; Thirugnanasambandam, A.; Looseley, M. (2011) Asymptomatic infection - the Trojan horse of crop production., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2010, pp14-15.

Dundee Flower and Food Festival 2014 (Event)

The James Hutton Institute is once again supporting the Dundee Flower and Food Festival and will have a display and talks in the new Food Discovery Marquee. Our display will be looking at the past, present and future of plant and ... Read more

Developments on arable crops showcased at Cereals in Practice (News)

How to protect cereal crops from the increased disease pressure caused by the mild winter and spring and early drilling was a key point of interest at this year’s Cereals in Practice event, co-hosted by the James Hutton Inst ... Read more

Royal Highland Show 2014 (Event)

The James Hutton Institute will once again be inviting visitors to join them at their marquee during the Royal Highland Show where we will be showcasing the contribution our science and research makes to the continuing success of ... Read more

'Collaborative roots' could reduce reliance on phosphorus fertilisers (News)

Farmers could improve the efficiency of phosphorus in crop production by coupling plants with complementary traits, which would allow them to harness the ‘phosphorus bank’ already present in soils. ... Read more

Work underway to improve malting barley quality (News)

Researchers at the James Hutton Institute and leading commercial breeding companies are working to improve the quality of winter barley for malting purposes, in a bid to address the concerns of maltsters, brewers and distillers ab ... Read more

The Rrs1 resistance locus against scald in barley (Event)

Dr Bianca Buttner, Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture, Institute for Crop Science and Plant Breeding, Germany will give this seminar entitled "The Rrs1 resistance locus against scald in barley" at the James H ... Read more

Impact of gene on crop development could boost cereal yields (News)

The productivity of major crops such as barley could get a boost in the future thanks to discoveries in the inner workings of genes and how they influence crop development, a new study from the James Hutton Institute and the Unive ... Read more

Barley and brewing: a matter of taste (Event)

Scotland Food and Drink in partnership with the James Hutton Institute and Interface Food and Drink will host this event ‘Barley and brewing; a matter of taste’ at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee. Featuring Alex ... Read more

£1.25 million for cereals research (News)

The James Hutton Institute has been awarded £1.25 million for projects to help improve the quality and reliability of malting barley, increase knowledge of root development and identify disease resistance in barley. The awa ... Read more

Barley Transformation (Research Page)

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Functional Genomics (Research Page)

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.