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20022023

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Personal profile

Research interests

Research in the Farrar lab focuses on increasing biomass yield in energy crops in order to replace fossil fuel usage, sequester atmospheric carbon, & ultimately contribute to climate change mitigation. In order to achieve this, there are two main research areas: Plant developmental biology & genetics and Plant-soil-microbe interactions.

Specialties

  • Biomass crops
  • Perennial grasses
  • Bacterial endophytes

http://www.resilientcrops.org/

http://www.miscanthusbreeding.org/miscanspeed.html

 

Additional information

I participated in the first UKERC/NESTA Carbon Crucible programme, and subsequently the establishment of the THE award winning Welsh Crucible. I have a personal interest in promoting diversity among the research community, and have been an Aberystwyth University Equalities Champion.
I co-organise the BioEnergy Grass Genomics workshop at the annual Plant and Animal Genome Conference.

Profile

I graduated in 1996 with a Plant Sciences degree from the University of Edinburgh. I obtained a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Durham (2000) and spent three years (2000-2003) as a postdoc at Aberystwyth University. I have worked at IGER/IBERS since January 2004; as a postdoc (2004-2007), a BBSRC Institute Career Path Fellow (2007-2013), Research Group leader for Energy Crop Biology (2011-2016), Theme leader for Agricultural Sciences & the BioEconomy (2018-2022) and as Institute Strategic Program lead for Resilient Crops (2023-present). I have been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) since 2014. 

Research in my lab aims to understand both plant development and plant-microbe interactions, with a focus on the energy grass Miscanthus. Miscanthus is a perennial C4 grass which grows to a height of several metres every year, even in temperate climates, providing an annual biomass crop for over 15 years. Increasing biomass yield, under a changing climate, is essential in order to replace petroleum-based energy, liquid transport fuels, and bulk chemicals.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

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