Plant Breeder

Knowledge Exchange Manager

Sustainable Agriculture Sciences


William works with academics to develop closer links with farmers and farming industry stakeholders at Rothamsted Research's Harpenden site, where he aims to promote the institute's research and generate KE interest. William also works on Rothamsted’s willow breeding programme, and he has performed over 700 crosses, carried out research to overcome crossing barriers, as well as producing elite SRC willow varieties, breeding lines and mapping populations. He has planned, planted and managed around 75 field trials, including an irrigation trial. In addition to the breeding trials located at Rothamsted Research, he has collaborated with a mix of academic and commercial partners to site trials at locations across Europe. William has an in-depth knowledge of the UK National Willow Collection, a unique Salix germplasm resource, which is located at Rothamsted Research. He also has experience of taking an array of phenotypic and physiological measurements on energy crops. William is currently working towards a PhD, titled "Identifying drought tolerant and/or water use efficient short rotation coppice willows", and is registered at Harper Adams University.




    +44 (0) 1582 938 018


      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ


        Strategic programme

        • Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems (ASSIST)
        • Tailoring Plant Metabolism (TPM)

        PhD project

        • Identifying drought tolerant and/or water use efficient short rotation coppice willows


        • 2003 - BSc Agriculture, University of Reading, UK


        • Plant breeders rights awarded from Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) for: RR06103 'Roth Hambleton', RR06202 Roth Mourne', RR04250 Roth Cheviot, RR04246 Roth Cotswold, RR04248 Roth Chiltern
        • February 2010-2017. Annual lecture given to University of Nottingham masters students. Renewable energy from plants: Willow breeding at Rothamsted
        • December 2013: 22nd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Session organiser for
        • Short rotation forestry and short-rotation coppice session
        • 2nd Prize in poster competition at Bioten Conference. Poster titled: "Seed to near market variety
        • the BEGIN willow breeding pipeline 2003-2010 and beyond”
        • May 2008. RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal. William was a member of the Rothamsted Research team that won gold for the Continuous Learning display: Willow Power - The diversity of willow and its role in combating climate change.