Rothamsted Research

where knowledge grows

halfordn

Nigel Halford

About

Contact

nigel.halford@rothamsted.ac.uk

+44 (0) 1582 763 133 ext: +44 1582 938203

Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ

Roles

Projects

Past Projects

Project Leader

  • BBSRC LINK: Producing low acrylamide risk potatoes
  • Review of the strategies for the comprehensive food and feed safety and nutritional assessment of GM plants per se
  • BBSRC Embrapa: Temperature resilience of flowering in UK and Brazilian wheat (TempRe)

Member

  • Improving the yield stability of durum wheat under Mediterranean conditions OPTIWHEAT
  • Optimising water use in wheat
  • Optimising nutrient use in cereals
  • Carbon assimilation for biomass
  • The BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC): Perennial Bioenergy Crops Programme

Profile

I obtained my first degree in Genetics from the University of Liverpool in 1983 and a Masters degree in Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from University College London in 1984.  I studied the genes encoding a family of wheat seed proteins called the high molecular weight subunits of glutenin for my PhD while at Rothamsted in the 1980s, then spent 11 years at Long Ashton Research Station near Bristol before returning to Rothamsted in 2002.  I am a Visiting Professor at Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences and was awarded The Magnolia Silver Award by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government in 2012.  I am also Special Professor at the University of Nottingham, Council Member and Programme Secretary for the Association of Applied Biologists, Fellow of the Society of Biology and former member of the UK’s Advisory Committee for Animal Feedingstuffs (ACAF). 

My team works on the genetics of metabolic regulation in crop plants, how plant metabolism is affected by stress and how it can be manipulated to improve crop yield and food safety.  Specific interests are:

Interactions between metabolic and stress signalling pathways in plants

Role of ABA and SNF1-related protein kinases (SnRKs) in controlling cereal seed development

Role of metabolic signalling in response to disease

Role of protein kinase GCN2 in controlling free amino acid levels in cereal grain; role of asparagine as a signalling molecule

Reducing the acrylamide-forming potential of wheat, rye and potato: understanding the genetic and agronomic factors that affect free asparagine and reducing sugar accumulation; mathematical modelling of asparagine metabolism

The effect of stress on crop composition

Plant biotechnology

Publications

Measures of esteem

2016

  • Speaker, Wheat â?? genetic improvement of end use quality, AAB, Rothamsted
  • Invited speaker, Food Security DTP Annual Conference 2016 - Lancaster
  • Invited speaker, 2nd Int. Conference on Food Safety and Regulatory Measures, London
  • Invited speaketr, EAPR Post Harvest Section meeting, Wageningen, Netherlandse
  • Invited speaker, BBSRC Showcase event, Campden-BRI
  • Invited speaker, 2nd Global Summit on Plant Science, London
  • Invited speaker, BITâ??s 7th World Gene Convention-2016, Shanghai

2015

  • Seminar speaker, University of the West of England
  • Invited speaker, Food, Nutrition and Agricultural Genomics Congress, London
  • Invited Speaker, Campden BRI Cereals, Milling and Baking Member Interest Group
  • Invited speaker, Federation of Bakers meeting on acrylamide, Food and Drink Federation, London
  • Member of Editorial Board, Applied and Translational Genomics
  • Invited speaker, International Potato Processing and Storage Convention, Bucharest
  • Invited Speaker, American Chemical Society 250th National Meeting, Boston
  • Invited speaker, Selectbio On-line: Advances in Plant Genomics 2015

2014

  • Invited Speaker, European Commission workshop on acrylamide, Brussels
  • Organiser, Wheat Breeding 2014
  • Invited Speaker, Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology conference, Gothenburg
  • Invited Speaker, MONOGRAM meeting 2014
  • Invited Speaker, Food Nutrition and Genomics Conference, London
  • Speaker, Sulphur Metabolism in Plants, Freiburg
  • Invited speaker, Meijer Stakeholder Conference: Growing the Future, Middelburg, Netherlands
  • Invited speaker, Cereal Partners Worldwide, Grain Summit, Orbe, Switzerland
  • Co-organiser and after-dinner speaker, Breeding Crops for Climate Change, Leeds
  • Fellow of the Society of Biology

2013

  • Seminar Speaker, University College Dublin
  • Invited speaker, International Plant Growth Substances Association Conference, Shanghai
  • Invited Speaker, EUCARPIA conference, July 2013
  • Invited Speaker, Agrigenomics Conference, Norwich, 2013
  • British Council Researcher Links Workshop Assessment Panel

2012

  • Seminar speaker, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Univ. of Sheffield
  • Devizes Festival Cafe Science, Speaker
  • Seminar, Firmenich, Shanghai: European GM perspective and 20:20 wheat
  • Seminar, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences: European GM perspective and the 20:20 wheat programme
  • Magnolia Silver Award Winner, Shanghai Municipal People's Government
  • Member of Editorial Board, Food and Energy Security

2011

  • Presentation and debate: Genetically modified crops: a European perspective. University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana
  • Research seminar: Studies on metabolic signalling in plants, from the molecular lab to applications in reducing acrylamide formation in common foods, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
  • Research seminar, Studies on metabolic signalling in plants, from the molecular lab to applications in reducing acrylamide formation in common foods. University of Leeds, Faculty of Biological Sciences

2010

  • Special Professor, University of Nottingham

2009

  • EFSA expert database

2006

  • Visiting Professor, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences

2005

  • Council Member, Association of Applied Biologists

2004

  • Member Advisory Committee for Animal Feedingstuffs

Qualifications

1989

  • PhD in Structure and expression of the genes encoding the high molecular weight subunits of wheat glutenin (Council for National Academic Awards)

1984

  • MSc in Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (University College London)

1983

  • BSc in Genetics (University of Liverpool)