Mr Alan Gay

Mr Alan Gay

Senior Research Scientist

Contact Details


Plant and crop physiologist with wide interests including photosynthesis, stomatal responses, senescence, cold hardening, crop modelling and growth measurements. Currently working on the use of hyperspectral reflectance of leaves and crops as a diagnostic tool particularly when collected from manned and unmanned aerial platforms as an aid to environmental, vegetation, crop and forestry monitoring and management. Has developed expertise in biological image analyses and interpretation for various uses.

Research Groups



Morgan, S., Theobald, V., Leemans, D., Gay, A., Scollan, N. 2016. Detection of faecal and gut contamination on chicken carcasses using a chlorophyll-based marker. 67th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science. Cadair


Boeckx, T., Webster, R., Winters, A., Webb, J., Gay, A., Kingston-Smith, A. 2015. Polyphenol oxidase-mediated protection against oxidative stress is not associated with enhanced photosynthetic efficiency. Annals of Botany 116 (4) pp. 529-540. 10.1093/aob/mcv081 Cadair


Humphreys, M.W., O'Donovan, S.A., Farrell, M.S., Gay, A.P., Kingston-Smith, A.H. 2014. The potential of novel Festulolium (2n=4x=28) hybrids as productive, nutrient-use-efficient fodder for ruminants. Food and Energy Security 3 (2) pp. 98-110. 10.1002/fes3.50 Cadair

Camargo-Rodriguez, A., Papadopoulou, D., Spyropoulou, Z., Vlachonasios, K., Doonan, J.H., Gay, A.P.Candela, H. 2014. Objective Definition of Rosette Shape Variation Using a Combined Computer Vision and Data Mining Approach. PLoS One 9 (5) pp. e96889. 10.1371/journal.pone.0096889 Other Cadair

Gegas, V.C., Gay, A., Camargo, A., Doonan, J. 2014. Challenges of Crop Phenomics in the Post-genomic Era. In J. Hancock. (ed) Phenomics. Taylor & Francis pp. 142-171. 10.1201/b16437-8


Lee, M.R.F., Leemans, D., Theobald, V.J., Fleming, H.R., Gay, A.P. 2013. The development of chlorophyll-based markers in poultry diets to aid detection of fluorescent fecal contamination. Poultry Science 92 (12) pp. 3251-3258. 10.3382/ps.2013-03310 Other Cadair

Mur, L.A.J., Simpson, C., Gay, A., Paveley, N., Sanchez-Martin, J., Prats, E. 2013. Stomatal lock-up following pathogenic challenge: Source or symptom of costs of resistance in crops? Plant Pathology 62 (S1) pp. 72-82. 10.1111/ppa.12174 Cadair

Robson, P.R.H., Farrar, K., Gay, A.P., Jensen, E.F., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S. 2013. Variation in canopy duration in the perennial biofuel crop Miscanthus reveals complex associations with yield: Canopy duration and yield in Miscanthus. Journal of Experimental Biology 64 (8) pp. 2373-2383. 10.1093/jxb/ert104 Cadair

Wychowaniec, J.K., Griffiths, I., Gay, A., Mughal, A. 2013. Compaction of cereal grain. Philosophical Magazine 93 (31-33) pp. 4151-4158. 10.1080/14786435.2013.808771 Cadair


Kingston-Smith, A.H., Davies, T.E., Edwards, J.E., Gay, A., Mur, L.A.J. 2012. Evidence of a role for foliar salicylic acid in regulating the rate of post-ingestive protein breakdown in ruminants and contributing to landscape pollution. Journal of Experimental Botany 63 (8) pp. 3243-3255. 10.1093/jxb/ers048 Cadair

Sagatarame, S., Leemans, L., Theobald, V.J., Fleming, H., Gay, A., Lee, M.R.F. 2012. Incorporation of chlorophyll based markers into lamb finishing rations to aid visualization of faecal contamination in the abattoir- a spectrometric approach. Cadair

Doonan, J., Howarth, C., Camargo-Rodriguez, A., Allison, G., Swain, G., Gay, A., Draper, J. 2012. EPPN: High throughput plant phenotyping facilities at Aberystwyth. EPPN Workshop. Other Cadair

Boeckx, T., Kingston-Smith, A., Webster, R., Winters, A., Webb, K., Gay, A. 2012. Can polyphenol oxidase mitigate photooxidative damage under abiotic stress conditions? Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) Annual Meeting. Cadair


Sagatarame, S., Gay, A., Lee, M.R.F. 2011. Improving detection of faecal contamination of carcasses using chlorophyll based markers. Novus Symposium: 20 Years Innovation with Integrity. Cadair

Gay, A.P., Mur, L.A.J., Withers, C.M. 2011. Are stomatal responses the key to understanding the cost of fungal disease resistance in plants? Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 91 (9) pp. 1538-1540. 10.1002/jsfa.4423 Cadair

Robson, P.R.H., Kelly, R., Jensen, E.F., Giddings, G.D., Leitch, M., Davey, C., Gay, A.P., Jenkins, G., Thomas, H., Donnison, I.S. 2011. A flexible quantitative methodology for the analysis of gene-flow between conventionally bred maize populations using microsatellite markers. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 122 (4) pp. 819-829. 10.1007/s00122-010-1489-0 Cadair

Howarth, C.J., Gay, A.P., Draper, J., Powell, W. 2011. Development of high throughput plant phenotyping facilities at Aberystwyth. Phenomics Workshop. Plant and Animal Genome XIX Conference . Cadair

Liu, Y., Draper, J.H., Gay, A.P., Howarth, C., Martin, R.R. 2011. Choosing the number of labels in image segmentation. 16th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA). 10.1109/ETFA.2011.6059090 Cadair

Robson, P.R., Kelly, R., Jensen, E.F., Davey, C., Gay, A.P., Thomas, H., Donnison, I.S., Leitch, M., Warren, J.M., Giddings, G.D., Jenkins, G. 2011. Factors affecting rates of cross-pollination in maize growing under typical UK conditions RG0124. DEFRA Report 2011 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Cadair


Prats, E., Gay, A.P., Roberts, P.C., Thomas, B.J., Sanderson, R., Paveley, N., Lyngkjaer, M.F., Carver, T.L.W., Mur, L.A.J. 2010. Blumeria graminis interactions with barley conditioned by different single R genes demonstrate a temporal and spatial relationship between stomatal dysfunction and cell death. Phytopathology 100 (1) pp. 21-32. 10.1094/PHYTO-100-1-0021 Cadair


Eves, A.J., Stewart, T.P., Gay, A.P., Kemp, A.I., Easey, M., Angel, R., Thomas, N.J., Pearce, D.A. 2009. Developing unmanned aerial vehicles for local and flexible environmental and agricultural monitoring. New Dimensions in Earth Observation. Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society conference, Leicester, UK. Cadair


Bougeniere, G., Cariou, C., Chehdi, K., Gay, A. 2008. Non parametric stochastic expectation maximization for data clustering. In J. Filipe., M. S. Obaidat. (eds) E-business and Telecommunications. Revised Selected Papers of the 4th International Conference, ICETE 2007, Barcelona, Spain, July 28-31, 2007, pp. 293-303. 10.1007/978-3-540-88653-2 Cadair

Gay, A.P., Thomas, H., Roca, M., James, C.L., Taylor, J., Rowland, J.J., Ougham, H.J. 2008. Nondestructive analysis of senescence in mesophyll cells by spectral resolution of protein synthesis-dependent pigment metabolism. New Phytologist 179 (3) pp. 663-674. 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02412.x Cadair Other


Prats, E., Carver, T.L.W., Gay, A., Mur, L. 2007. Enemy at the Gates: Interaction-Specific Stomatal Responses to Pathogenic Challenge. Plant Signaling and Behavior 2 (4) pp. 275-277. 10.4161/psb.2.4.4153 Cadair

Donnison, I., Gay, A., Thomas, H., Edwards, K.J., Edwards, D., Evans, C., Thomas, A., Ougham, H. 2007. Modification of nitrogen remobilisation, grain fill and leaf senescence in maize (Zea mays L.) by transposon insertional mutagenensis in a protease gene. New Phytologist 173 (3) pp. 481-494. 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2006.01928.x Other Cadair

Bougeniere, G., Cariou, C., Chehdi, K., Gay, A. 2007. Unsupervised non parametric data clustering by means of Bayesian inference and information theory. Proceedings of the International Conference on signal processing and multimedia applications (SIGMAP). Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication Press pp. 101-108. Cadair


Prats, E., Gay, A.P., Thomas, B.J., Mur, L.A.J., Carver, T.L.W. 2006. Stomatal lock-open, a consequence of epidermal cell death, follows transient suppression of stomatal opening in barley attacked by Blumeria graminis. Journal of Experimental Botany pp. 2211-2226. Cadair Other

Ougham, H.J., Donnison, I.S., Taylor, J., Vozel, B., Chehdi, K., Gay, A.P., Wagstaff, C., Stead, A.D., Cariou, C., Rogers, H.J. 2006. Hyperspectral imaging in plant science: some case studies of various stresses on different species and at different scales under laboratory and natural lighting conditions. 10.1016/j.cbpa.2006.01.053 Cadair

Gay, A. 2006. Is hyperspectral imaging a useful technique for managing crops and monitoring grassland? 2006 Plant Science Wales. Cadair


Galyuon, I.K.A., Gay, A., Borrell, A.K., Howarth, C. 2005. Maintaining yield under drought stress by different mechanisms in a range of genetic sources of stay-green sorghum. 2005 Society for Experimental Botany, Annual Main Meeting. Cadair


Rapacz, M., Gasior, D., Zwierzykowski, Z., Lesniewska-Bocianowska, A., Humphreys, M.W., Gay, A.P. 2004. Changes in cold tolerance and the mechanisms of acclimation of photosystem II to cold hardening generated by anther culture of Festuca pratensis × Lolium multiflorum cultivars. New Phytologist 162 (1) pp. 105-114. 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2004.01024.x Cadair

Carver, T.L.W., Prats, E., Gay, A., Mur, L., Thomas, B.J., Kunoh, H. 2004. Powdery mildew, cereal cells and sustainable crop production. 11th International Cereal Rust and Powdery Mildew Conference. Cadair

Gay, A., Smith, E.L., Kingston-Smith, A., Thorogood, D., Roca, M., Ougham, H., Thomas, H., Evans, C., Davies, T., Moss, L. 2004. Photoinhibition and resistance to winter damage in stay-green amenity grasses. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A. Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) Meeting. Cadair


Berry, P.M., Spink, J.H., Gay, A.P., Craigon, J. 2003. A comparison of root and stem lodging risks among winter wheat cultivars. Journal of Agricultural Science 141 (2) pp. 191-202. 10.1017/S002185960300354X Cadair

Collings, L.V., Blair, A.M., Gay, A.P., Dyer, C.J., MacKay, W. 2003. The effect of weather factors on the performance of herbicides to control Alopecurus myosuroides in winter wheat. Weed Research 43 (2) pp. 146-153. 10.1046/j.1365-3180.2003.00327.x Cadair Other

Robinson, D., Bingham, I.J., Sylvester-Bradley, R., Foulkes, M.J., Gay, A.P., Gregory, P.J., King, J.A. 2003. Modelling cereal root systems for water and nitrogen capture: towards an economic option. Annals of Botany pp. 383-390. Cadair Other

Ougham, H., Gay, A., Donnison, I., Thomas, H., Evans, C., Rowlands, J. 2003. Hyperspectral imaging and machine learning as a no-invasive screening tool to determine crop maturity, nutritional status and stress. DEFRA Arable Crop Physiology and Technology Workshop. Cadair

Ougham, H., Gay, A., Donnison, I., Thomas, H., Evans, C., Rowlands, J. 2003. Hyperspectral imaging and machine learning as a non-invasive screening tool to determine crop maturity, nutritional status and stress. DEFRA Arable Crop Physiology and Technology Workshop. Cadair

Spinks, J., Berry, P.M., Fenwick, R., Gay, A. 2003. To establish separate power ratings for stem and root lodging in the UK Recommended Lists for wheat: HGCA Project No. 2213 Final Report. Home-Grown Cereals Authority Cadair


King, J.A., Gay, A.P.Villalobos, J., Testi, L. 2002. Estimating a crop root system from limited core samples. Cadair Other

Bingham, I.J., Foulkes, M.J., Gay, A., Gregory, P.J., King, J., Robinson, D., Sylvester-Bradley, R. 2002. 'Balancing' root and canopy growth. 2002 Proceedings Home-Grown Cereals Authority Conference. Cadair

Gay, A., Donnison, I., Taylor, J., Thomas, H., Ougham, H. 2002. Hyperspectral imaging as a non-invasive tool to determine crop maturity, nutritional status and stress. 2002 Conference on Applications of Remote Sensing in Agriculture. Cadair


Bouchart, V., Macduff, J., Ourry, A., Svenning, M., Gay, A., Simon, J.C., Boucaud, J. 1998. Seasonal pattern of accumulation and effects of low temperatures on storage compounds in Trifolium repens. Physiologia Plantarum 104 (1) pp. 65-74. 10.1034/j.1399-3054.1998.1040109.x Cadair


Hauck, B., Gay, A., Macduff, J., Griffiths, C.M., Thomas, H. 1997. Leaf senescence in a non-yellowing mutant of Festuca pratensis: implications of the stay-green mutation for photosynthesis, growth and nutrition . Plant, Cell and Environment 20 (8) pp. 1007-1018. 10.1111/j.1365-3040.1997.tb00677.x Cadair


Lewis, C.E., Gay, A., Hauck, B., Causton, D.R., Foyer, C.H. 1996. Is Lolium temulentum able to avoid end product inhibition of photosynthesis? International Conference on Transport of Photoassimilates. Cadair

Lewis, C.E., Gay, A., Turner, L., Foyer, C.H., Causton, D.R. 1996. The effect of elevated CO2 on the relationship between photosynthetic gas exchange, associated enzymes and growth of Lolium temulentum at various light levels. Caper Meeting. Cadair

Lewis, C.E., Gay, A., Hauck, B., Foyer, C.H., Causton, D.R. 1996. The effect of elevated CO2 on the relationship between photosynthetic gas exchange, associated enzymes and growth of Lolium temulentum at various light levels. SEB Annual Meeting. Cadair


Gay, A., Thomas, H. 1995. Leaf development in Lolium temulentum: photosynthesis in relation to growth and senescence. New Phytologist 160 (2) pp. 159-168. 10.1111/j.1469-8137.1995.tb03037.x Cadair

Souriau, N., Hauck, B., Gay, A., Foyer, C.H., Thomas, H. 1995. Photosynthesis and light energy dissipation in senescing leaves of grass mutants blocked in chlorophyll degradation. In P. Mathis. (ed) Photosynthesis: From Light to Biosphere. Springer Nature pp. 953-956. Cadair

Potter, J.F., Dhanoa, M.S., Shanmulingham, S., Gay, A. 1995. Biologists and statisticians working together in science for agriculture and the environment. Royal Statistical Society Conference. Cadair


Carver, T.L.W., Ingerson-Morris, S.M., Thomas, B.J., Gay, A. 1994. Light-mediated delay of primary haustorium formation by Erysiphe graminis f. sp. avenae. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 45 (1) pp. 59-79. 10.1016/S0885-5765(05)80019-0 Cadair

Gay, A., Hauck, B. 1994. Acclimation of Lolium temulentum to enhanced carbon dioxide concentration. Journal of Experimental Botany 45 (8) pp. 1133-1141. 10.1093/jxb/45.8.1133 Cadair

Gay, A., Thomas, H. 1994. Rapid changes in leaf extension growth of grasses under controlled conditions and in the field. 1995 Society for Experimental Botany Meeting . Cadair


Mae, T., Thomas, H., Gay, A., Makino, A., Hidema, J. 1993. Leaf Development in Lolium temulentum: Photosynthesis and Photosynthetic Proteins in Leaves Senescing under Different Irradiances. Plant and Cell Physiology pp. 391-399. Other Cadair

Gay, A., Mae, T., Thomas, H. 1993. Effect of light intensity during senescence on photosynthesis and photosynthetic proteins of Lolium temulentum. In D. Wilson., H. Thomas., K. Pithan. (eds) Crop Adaptation to Cool, Wet Climates. EC COST 814 Workshop. pp. 159-166. Cadair

Gay, A., Hauck, B. 1993. Acclimation of Lolium temulentum to enhanced carbon dioxide. In J. Rozema., H. Lambers., S. C. van de Geijn., M. L. Cambridge. (eds) CO2 and Biosphere: Advances in Vegetation Science No.14. Springer Nature pp. 454-455. Cadair

Hauck, B., Gay, A. 1993. Effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentration on growth and proteins of Lolium temulentum. SEB Meeting on Impact of Climate Change. Cadair

Gay, A., Eagles, C.F. 1993. Modelling cold hardening and dehardening in Lolium. Stressnet Meeting. Cadair

Gay, A. 1993. The effects of light quality on clover growth: an example of how simple modifications of standard C. E. facilities can be used in light quality studies. Controlled Environment Users' Group. Cadair

Eagles, C.F., Gay, A. 1993. Will climate affect winter survival? SEB Meeting on Impact of Climate Change. Cadair


Haigh, G.R., Carver, T.L.W., Gay, A.P., Farrar, J.F. 1991. Respiration and photosynthesis in oats exhibiting different levels of partial resistance to Erysiphe graminis D.c. ex Merat f. sp. avenae Marchal. New Phytologist 119 (1) pp. 129-136. 10.1111/j.1469-8137.1991.tb01016.x Cadair

Gay, A., Eagles, C.F. 1991. Quantitative analysis of cold hardening and dehardening in Lolium. Annals of Botany 67 (4) pp. 339-345. Other Cadair


Gay, A. 1989. Assessment of the response to selection for leaf water conductance in Lolium perenne. Annals of Botany pp. 593-598. Other Cadair


Gay, A. 1988. Recovery of photosynthesis during regrowth of Lolium perenne. Britih Grassland Society (BGS) Research Meeting. Cadair


Thomas, H., Gay, A. 1987. Characterization of forages for drought resistance. In B. F. Tyler. (ed) Collection, Characterization and Utilization of Genetic Resources of Temperate Forage Grass and Clover: (Lectures given at the Welsh Plant Breeding Station, Aberystwyth for an IBPGR, ECP/GR Short Course, October 1984. International Board for Plant Genetic Resources pp. 29-35. Cadair