Nigel G. Halford

Rothamsted Research
United Kingdom

Professor Nigel Halford is a Principal Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research, one of the UK’s premier agricultural research centres. Professor Halford obtained his first degree from the University of Liverpool in 1983 and a master’s degree from University College London in 1984. He studied the genes encoding a family of wheat seed proteins for his PhD while at Rothamsted in the 1980s, then spent 11 years at Long Ashton Research Station near Bristol before returning to Rothamsted in 2002. His research programme concerns the genetics of metabolic regulation in crop plants, how plant metabolism is affected by environmental stress and crop management, and how it can be manipulated to improve crop yield, quality, and food safety. A major strategic application of this work is reducing the potential for acrylamide formation in wheat, potato and rye products. Professor Halford is the author of more than 160 scientific papers, and books on ‘Genetically Modified Crops’, ‘Crop Biotechnology’, ‘An Introduction to Bioenergy’, and ‘Acrylamide in Food’. He has worked with GM and more recently genome edited (GE) plants for more than 35 years and has been running Europe’s first field trials of GE wheat since 2021. He is a Visiting Professor at Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Special Professor at the University of Nottingham, Honorary Treasurer of the Association of Applied Biologists, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. He is also Chair of the ACRYRED COST Action