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Dr Steve Hoad

Dr Steve Hoad

Steve Hoad

 0131 535 4342

Scotland’s Rural College
W Mains Rd


Steve's research focuses on crop responses to changes in climatic and agronomic conditions, with emphasis on plant traits for improving resource capture, crop quality and yield stability. This work underpins the development of new cereal cultivars by exploiting a wide range of genetic and phenotypic diversity.  

Research on barley includes genetic and physiological approaches to improving crop quality, nitrogen use efficiency and crop resilience in the face of climatic change. The role of crop diversity and plant traits in nitrogen capture are being explored. This work extends to traits that complement more durable disease resistance. Phenotype screening and genetic analyses are being used to underpin grain quality improvements by eliminating conditions such as grain skinning.  

Research on wheat in concerned with climatic influences on flowering biology, especially in relation to ear fertility. Understanding the genetic and physiological basis of ear development and seed set will have a significant bearing on the development of new varieties that are adapted to the changing UK climate.

Research Projects

  • Resource use efficiency and outputs in crop plants (Work Package 5.2), funded by the Scottish Government
  • Wheat Ear Sterility Project (WESP) in partnership with John Innes Centre, Limagrain UK Ltd, RAGT Seeds Ltd & KWS UK Ltd, funded by BBSRC, HGCA & Scottish Government
  • Establishing best practice for predicting soil nitrogen supply and new approaches to weed control in oilseed rape, funded by HGCA
  • The role of crop structure in controlling increased disease risk in barley (in Work Package 6.4), funded by the Scottish Government
  • Causes and control of grain skinning in malting barley: phenotyping and genetic analysis, funded by BBSRC

Area of Strategic Research Programme

Further information the Scottish Government's Strategic Research Programme is available

  • Theme 2: Productive and sustainable land management and Rural Economies
  • 2.1 - Crop and Grassland Production and Disease Control
  • 2.1.1 Genetic diversity of crops
  • 2.1.2 Crop genetic improvement