I spent much of my career working to conserve the genetic resources of crops and their wild relatives, attached to two international agricultural research centers, CIP in Peru and IRRI in the Philippines.
Biodiversity – included here are posts about the diversity of crops and their wild relatives, and some aspects of using diversity.
- Beets, ‘beans’, and Canaries
- Early morning cup of tea . . .
- Food for the soul . . .
- Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness . . . Jane Austen
- How long is a piece of string?
- How many crop varieties can you name?
- Laos – jewel in the rice biodiversity crown
- Learning about crop wild relatives
- Lentils (and Mrs. Vavilov) on my mind . . .
- Opportunities delayed: INGER @ 40
- Potatoes – the real treasure of the Incas . . .
- Safeguarding rice biodiversity . . .
- The agricultural terraces of Cuyo Cuyo, southern Peru
- The beauty (and wonder) of diversity
- The humble spud
- Whither the grasspea?
- Cruza 148 . . . the serendipity of disease resistance
University of Birmingham – I studied and taught at Birmingham which was a world center for training in the conservation and use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
- 1989: the plant genetic resources course at Birmingham celebrates 20 years
- Birmingham – a center for potato studies
- Genetic resources – the impact of the University of Birmingham
- Indulging my [genetic resources] fantasies . . .
- Plant Genetic Resources: Our challenges, our food, our future
- The Birmingham Class of ’71: plant genetic resources pioneers
- Through hard work, great things are achieved
- Supervising graduate students . . .
Climate change – these posts concern the preparation of a book on genetic resources and climate change.
- Déjà vu, again?
- Plant Genetic Resources and Climate Change
- Plant Genetic Resources and Climate Change – in the production phase at last
- Plant Genetic Resources and Climate Change – publication by the end of the year*
- Plant Genetic Resources and Climate Change: available mid-December 2013
- Something for your Christmas stocking – Plant Genetic Resources and Climate Change hits the shelves 11 December!
Genebanking – conserving plant genetic resources in perpetuity, and some of the challenges that genebank managers face.
- I’d rather have a bottle in front of me . . .
- Civil War destruction . . . genebank redemption
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket . . . or your seeds in a single genebank
- Genebanking Down Under
- Genebanking, East Africa style
- Genetic resources in safe hands
- I used to be uncertain, but now I’m not so sure (updated 5 December 2015)
- If it’s Wednesday, it must be Colombia . . .
- In perpetuity . . . or longer (updated 17 October 2018)
- Investing in diversity . . . the IRRI genebank
- Keeping up standards . . . but whose?
- No time for complacency . . .
- Outside the EU . . . even before Brexit
- Running a genebank for rice . . .
- The ‘tourism’ of genebanks
- There’s more to genebanking than meets the eye (or should be)
- There’s more to genetic resources than Svalbard
- What’s in a name? I’m on a germplasm ID crusade!
- When is white not white? When it’s green, of course.
Career – how I got started in the world of genetic conservation.
- Discovering Vavilov, and building a career in plant genetic resources: (1) Starting out in South America in the 1970s
- Discovering Vavilov, and building a career in plant genetic resources: (2) Training the next generation of specialists in the 1980s
- Discovering Vavilov, and building a career in plant genetic resources: (3) Becoming a genebanker in the 1990s, and beyond
- Standing on Vavilov’s shoulders . . .
- Professor Jack Hawkes, plant genetic resources pioneer
- Professor J Trevor Williams, genetic resources champion
- Dr Richard Sawyer, first Director General of CIP
- Professor Gelia Castillo, rural sociologist in the Philippines
- Dr Norman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
- Dr Joe Smartt, legume specialist
- Dr John Sheehy, crop physiologist, C4 rice
- Mr Jim Bryan, seed potato specialist
- Eves Loresto, International Rice Genebank, IRRI
- Tom Clemeno, staff member of the International Rice genebank at IRRI
Several posts about working in international agricultural research and management over 40 years.
- Early days in Lima – 1973.
- Rice for the world . . .
- 50 years, and still going strong . . .
- Anything you can do I can do better . . . performance management and monitoring
- Crystal balls, accountability and risk: planning and managing agricultural research for development (R4D)
- DPPC . . . beginning and end
- End of an era . . .
- From a single potato tuber to one tonne in a year? Yes, it can be done.
- Getting to know IRRI . . .
- It was 40 years ago today . . .
- No action, no risk . . .
- Research impact is all around – or at least it should be.
- Rice Today . . . and tomorrow
- Spreading the good news about rice . . . the 4th International Rice Congress
- The man behind the logo . . .
- Transitions . . .
- Where good science matters . . . and it’s all relevant
- The passion and intemperance of ignorance . . .
- Three revolutions . . .
- Would I eat genetically-modified foods? Damn right I would!
- There’s beauty in numbers . . .
- An exceptional CEO: Bob Zeigler, IRRI Director General, 2005-2015
Some general science posts, especially botany.
- “Well, tests ain’t fair. Those that study have an unfair advantage. It’s always been that way.” (Allan Dare Pearce)
- Completing a PhD – was it worth the effort?
- Everyone’s a taxonomist
- First impressions: two weeks in 1967
- In the blink of an eye, it seems, 50 years have passed
- Insalata mista – taxonomy in action
- Proud to be a botanist
- Study botany and the world’s your oyster . . .
- Studying at Southampton, 1967-1970
- The fruit that keeps on giving . . .
- A lifetime’s work . . .