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Professor Richard Ellis


Professor of Crop Production

Areas of interest

In the broadest sense, my research covers reproductive crop plant biology and the effect of environment on seeds, plants and crops. Research on seeds includes:

  • Seed quality development
  • Seed storage (including the seed viability equation)
  • Seed dormancy
  • Germination (including seed testing and crop establishment)

These interests in anhydrous biology extend to related aspects in fungal spores and pollen.

The application of much of the seed research has been within the international networks of gene-banks; i.e. long-term seed stores for plant genetic resources conservation (one element of biodiversity conservation). This seed science and biodiversity conservation research covers the full range of flowering plants, agricultural and horticultural crops, forest species (trees and shrubs), and wild species.

Research on flowering has been concerned ultimately with crop adaptation, by determining the quantitative effects of temperature and photoperiod on flowering (and hence whether or not grain and seed production will be successful). Climate change impacts research has been concerned with the possibility of interactions between the effects of increased CO2 and temperature and the effect of climate variability (i.e. extreme events at vulnerable stages of crop development) on crop production and crop quality, including the effects of environment and agronomy on grain and especially seed quality development from successful (or not) seed set onwards.


Teaching and research in seed and crop physiology and production in relation to:

  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture 
  • Biodiversity conservation.

Research centres and groups

Biodiversity, Crops and Agro-ecosystems


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