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Adrian Newton

Staff picture: Adrian Newton
Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Cereal Pathologist/Agroecologist
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Adrian is an agroecologist and barley / cereal pathologist with over 40 years of research experience. Initially his interests were in cereal pathogen populations and their response to cereal crop variety deployment. Deployment of diversity within cereal crops, referred to as cereal variety mixtures or blends, became a major interest in terms of disease control and resource use efficiency as measured by yield and quality outcomes. His recent focus has been on broader plant diversity interactions in the field from genotypes to species including intercropping, and variety/genotype interactions with soil tillage and crop sequence. Another parallel research interest has been induced resistance, whether through pathogens or application of resistance elicitors, and this now includes the induction mediated by soil microbial communities in soils differentially affected by cultivation and previous crops. These interests feed into current work in the broad area of regenerative agriculture including pasture diversity.

Current research interests

Adrian’s research interests in cereal pathogens continue, including Ramularia collo-cygni (Ramularia Leaf Spot). The crop diversity interest has taken more of an ecological focus working with Hutton colleagues and others, and has encompassed intercropping, especially cereal-legume combinations for both biomass (wholecrop) and grain. His IPM interests in general have included soil cultivation, particularly the effects of non-inversion versus inversion tillage. The particular approach of direct drilling or conservation tillage and it’s farming systems context are another current area of interest and exciting developments.

Some links to previous areas of work: Epidemiology, crop protection and resistance deployment; Resistance elicitors; Analysing epidemic spatial trends and local competition effects in heterogeneous vegetation and cultivar mixtures in general.

Adrian is a key staff member leading Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPM) research at the Institute. For details of ongoing IPM research areas and projects, please visit the IPM@hutton website.

He is also honoured to be a Visiting Professor of Cereal Pathology at SRUC, Edinburgh; an editor for Plant Pathology; a Member of the Association for Crop Protection in Northern Britain Standing Committee and Programme Committee and its Treasurer; a Member of HGCA Barley, Oats and Other cereals Recommended List Committee; a Member of Scottish Variety Consultative Committee (Cereals); a Member of the International Committee for the International Workshop on Barley Leaf Diseases; a Member of the Scottish Society for Crop Research - Combinable and Energy Crops Committee; and an Associate of the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience.

Current research projects 

  • Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme Theme 2 – Productive and Sustainable Land Management and Rural Economies. Research objectives in IPM, Novel Crops, Sustainable Soil and Water Management, Integrated Management Systems, 2016-2022
  • Esmee Fairbairn: Crop Mixtures for Sustainable Agriculture, 2019-2023
  • Mains of Loirston Trust: Tillage-agronomy interaction in direct drill and conventional cultivation, 2019-2023
  • UKRI ‘Food Security during and after the Covid-19 Pandemic’, 2020-2021
  • Scottish Government: The Effects of Grass Seed Intentionally containing Endophytes on the Environment, 2020-2022
  • Mains of Loirston Trust: Novel winter legume-cereal mixtures for Scotland, 2019-2022
  • SSCR: ‘Cereal variety adaptation ranking changes in CSC conventional and integrated management treatments’, 2021-2022
  • EU 2020: SFS-2-2016 DIVERSify ‘Designing InnoVative plant teams for Ecosystem Resilience and agricultural Sustainability’, 2017-2021
  • EU 2020: SFS-26-2016 TRUE ‘Transition paths to sustainable legume-based systems in Europe’, 2017-2021


Scientific Posters / Conferences

Printed from /staff/adrian-newton on 03/02/23 03:10:06 AM

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.