Dr Helen Ougham


Dr Helen Ougham

Emeritus Reader

Contact Details


Helen Ougham has a B.A. in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Aberystwyth. She carried out research in plant science and crop bioinformatics for over 25 years at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research and Aberystwyth University, and taught regularly on graduate courses in genetics and genomics at the University of Birmingham and in crop science at the IAMZ, Zaragoza. She was a member of BBSRC's Genes & Developmental Biology Committee and Tools & Resources Strategy Panel. Although nominally 'retired', she is still actively involved in scientific research, teaching on IBERS modules, writing, reviewing and editing. She is a co-editor of New Phytologist and an Honorary Research Fellow at East Malling Research. With Russ Jones, Howard (Sid) Thomas and Sue Waaland, Helen is author of the textbook The Molecular Life of Plants. She has been an organiser of Aberystwyth Science Cafe since it was launched in 2005.


Plant growth and development, particularly leaf senescence. Evolution and significance of autumn colours. Use of imaging in plant and agricultural science. Applications of bioinformatics and modelling in crop science. Cross-disciplinary research. Communicating science to non-specialists. Science through the medium of Welsh.


Deep sequence analysis reveals the ovine rumen as a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genesHitch, T., Thomas, B. J., Friedersdorff, J. C. A., Ougham, H. & Creevey, C. 2018 In : Environmental Pollution.235, p. 571-5755 p.
Senescence and crop performanceThomas, H. & Ougham, H. 2017 Crop Physiology: Application for Genetic Improvement and Agronomy. Sadras, V. O. & Calderini, D. (eds.). Academic International Press, p. 223-250
On plant growth and formThomas, H. & Ougham, H. 2017 In : New Phytologist.216, 2, p. 337-3382 p.
Introduction to a Virtual Issue on plant senescenceThomas, H. & Ougham, H. 2016 In : New Phytologist.212, 3, p. 531-5366 p.
Senescence and programmed cell deathThomas, H., Ougham, H., Mur, L. & Jansson, S. 2015 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants. Buchanan, B. B., Gruissem, W. & Jones, R. L. (eds.). Wiley, p. 925-982
Germplasm databases and informatics.Ougham, H. J. & Thomas, I. D. 2014 Plant Genetic Resources and Climate Change.. Jackson, M., Ford-Lloyd, B. V. & Parry, M. L. (eds.). CABI Publishing, Vol. 4, p. 151-16515 p. (CABI Climate Change Series)
Multiscale digital Arabidopsis predicts individual organ and whole-organism growthChew, Y. H., Wenden, B., Flis, A., Mengin, V., Taylor, J., Davey, C. L., Tindal, C., Thomas, H., Ougham, H. J., De Reffye, P., Stitt, M., Williams, M., Muetzelfeldt, R., Halliday, K. J. & Millar, A. J. 2014 In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.111, 39, p. E4127-E4136
The stay-green traitThomas, H. & Ougham, H. J. 2014 In : Journal of Experimental Botany.65, p. 3889-3900
Developing a physical map of the Lolium perenne genome based on High-Information Content BAC Fingerprinting and BAC-end sequencingArmstead, I., King, J., Huang, L., Ougham, H., Kudrna, D. & King, I. 2011 p. 321 p.
Linking models in the PlaSMo portal and modelling the biological clockMillar, A. J., Tindau, C., beaton, M., Davey, C., Ougham, H., Muetzelfeldt, R., Pohilko, A., Van Ooijen, G., Troein, C., Dixon, L., Corellou, F., Bouget, F. . Y., Halford, N. (ed.) & Semenov, M. (ed.) 2011 p. pp77-782 p.
Natural faecal fluorophores and the potential of chlorophyll based markers to optimise fluorescence as a real-time solution for the detection of faecal contamination on carcassesLee, M. R. F., Theobald, V. J., Ougham, H. J., Veberg Dahl, A., Lundby, F., Scollan, N. D. & Wold, J-P. 2010 In : Meat Science.86, 4, p. 966-97510 p.
Accumulation of chlorophyll catabolites photosensitizes the hypersensitive response elicited by Pseudomonas syringae in ArabidopsisMur, L. A. J., Aubry, S., Mondhe, M., Kingston-smith, A., Gallagher, J., Timms-taravella, E., James, C., Papp, I., Hörtensteiner, S., Thomas, H. & Ougham, H. 2010 In : New Phytologist.188, 1, p. 161-17414 p.
Making crop and plant mathematical models easily accessible to the plant science and systems biology communitiesDavey, C., Ougham, H. J., Millar, A., Thomas, H., Tindal, C. & Muetzelfeldt, R. 2009
Bioinformatics in the orphan cropsArmstead, I. P., Huang, L. S., Ravagnani, A., Robson, P. R. & Ougham, H. J. 2009 In : Briefings in Bioinformatics.10, 6, p. 645-6539 p.
Markers and mapping revisited: finding your geneJones, R. N., Ougham, H. J., Thomas, H. & Pasakinskiene, I. S. 2009 In : New Phytologist.183, 4, p. 935-96632 p.
Evolution of plant senescenceThomas, H., Huang, L., Young, M. & Ougham, H. J. 2009 In : BMC Evolutionary Biology.9, 163, 163
PlasMo: Making existing plant and crop mathematical models available to plant systems biologistDavey, C., Ougham, H. J., Millar, A., Thomas, H., Tindal, C. & Muetzelfeldt, R. 2009 Aspects 93: Integrated Agricultural Systems.p. S225-S226
PlaSMo: Making existing plant and crop mathematical models available to plant systems biologistsOugham, H. J., Millar, A., Muetzelfeldt, R., Tindal, C., Thomas, H. & Davey, C. 2009 In : Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology.p. 225-
Response to Sinkkonen: Ultraviolet reflectance in autumn leaves and the un-naming of coloursArchetti, M., Doring, T. F., Hagen, S. B., Hughes, N. M., Leather, S. R., Lee, D. W., Lev-Yadun, S., Manetas, Y., Ougham, H. J., Schaberg, P. G. & Thomas, H. 2009 In : Trends in Ecology and Evolution.24, 5, p. 237-2382 p.
Faecal Markers - Markers developed to optimise visualisation of faecal contamination on animal carcasses in the abattoirLee, M., Theodorou, M., Ougham, H. & Thomas, H. 2009
Unravelling the evolution of autumn colours: an interdisciplinary approachDoring, T. F., Lev-Yadun, S., Ougham, H. J., Leather, S. R., Schaberg, P. G., Archetti, M., Manetas, Y., Thomas, H., Lee, D. W., Hagen, S. B. & Hughes, N. M. 2009 In : Trends in Ecology and Evolution.24, 3, p. 166-1738 p.
The control of chlorophyll catabolism and the status of yellowing as a biomarker of leaf senescenceOugham, H. J., Hortensteiner, S., Armstead, I. P., Donnison, I. S., King, I. P., Thomas, H. & Mur, L. A. J. 2008 In : Plant Biology.10, S1, p. 4-1411 p.
Nondestructive analysis of senescence in mesophyll cells by spectral resolution of protein synthesis-dependent pigment metabolismGay, A. P., Thomas, H., Roca, M., James, C. L., Taylor, J., Rowland, J. J. & Ougham, H. J. 2008 In : New Phytologist.179, 3, p. 663-67412 p.
The adaptive value of leaf colourThomas, H., Ougham, H. J. & Archetti, M. 2008 In : New Phytologist.179, p. 9-135 p.
The hypersensitive response; the centenary is upon us but how much do we know?Mur, L. A. J., Kenton, P., Lloyd, A. J., Ougham, H. J. & Prats, E. 2007 In : Journal of Experimental Botany.59, 3, p. 501-52020 p.
Cytokinin promotes catalase and ascorbate peroxidase activities and preserves the chloroplast integrity during dark-senescenceZavaleta-Mancera, H. A., López-Delgado, H., Loza-Tavera, H., Mora-Herrera, M., Trevilla-Garcia, C., Vargas-Suárez, M. & Ougham, H. J. 2007 In : Journal of Plant Physiology.164, 12, p. 1572-158211 p.
From phenotype to genotype: whole tissue profiling for plant breedingRoberts, L. A., Thorogood, D., King, I. P., Goodacre, R., Ougham, H. J., Reader, S. M. & Ellis, D. I. 2007 In : Metabolomics.3, 4, p. 489-50113 p.
Rice pseudomolecule-anchored cross-species DNA sequence alignments indicate regional genomic variation in expressed sequence conservationArmstead, I. P., Huang, L. S., King, J., Ougham, H. J., Thomas, H. & King, I. P. 2007 In : BMC Genomics.8, 283, 16
Throwing new light on the hypersensitive responseMur, L., Mondhe, M., Papp, I., Holton, N., Hoertensteiner, S., Kingston-Smith, A., Thomas, H. & Ougham, H. 2007 In : Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology.146, 4, C2.9
The genetic control of senescence revealed by mapping quantitative trait lociDonnison, I. S., Thomas, H., Armstead, I. P., Ougham, H. J., Howarth, C. J. & Galyuon, I. K. A. 2007 Annual Plant Reviews: Senescence Processes in Plants. Gan, S. (ed.). Wiley, Vol. 26, p. 171-20131 p.
Modification of nitrogen remobilisation, grain fill and leaf senescence in maize (Zea mays L.) by transposon insertional mutagenensis in a protease geneDonnison, I., Gay, A., Thomas, H., Edwards, K. J., Edwards, D., Evans, C., Thomas, A. & Ougham, H. 2007 In : New Phytologist.173, 3, p. 481-49414 p.
Cross-species identification of Mendel's/locusArmstead, I. P., Donnison, I. S., Aubry, S., Harper, J. A., Hörtensteiner, S., James, C. L., Mani, J., Moffet, M., Ougham, H. J., Roberts, L. A., Thomas, A. M., Weeden, N., Thomas, S. & King, I. P. 2007 In : Science.315, 5808, p. 73
From crop to model to crop: identifying the genetic basis of the staygreen mutation in the Lolium/Festuca forage and amenity grassesArmstead, I. P., Donnison, I. S., Aubry, S., Harper, J. A., Hortensteiner, S., James, C. L., Mani, J., Moffet, M., Ougham, H. J., Roberts, L. A., Thomas, A. M., Weeden, N., Thomas, S. & King, I. P. 2006 In : New Phytologist.172, 4, p. 592-5976 p.
The effect of gibberellic acid on the response of leaf extension to low temperatureOugham, H. J., Tomos, A. D. & Farrell, A. D. 2006 In : Plant, Cell and Environment.p. 1329-13379 p.
Functional bioinformatics for Arabidopsis thalianaClare, A. J., Karwath, A., Ougham, H. J. & King, R. D. 2006 In : Bioinformatics.22, 9, p. 1130-11367 p.
Hyperspectral imaging in plant science: some case studies of various stresses on different species and at different scales under laboratory and natural lighting conditionsOugham, 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
Molecular tagging of a senescence gene by introgression mapping of a stay-green mutation from Festuca pratensisThomas, A. M., Thomas, H., Armstead, I. P., King, I. P., Harper, J. A., Moore, B. J., Huang, L. S., Fentem, P. A., Ougham, H. J., Jones, R. N., Jones, T. A. H., Roberts, L. A., King, J. & Donnison, I. S. 2005 In : New Phytologist.165, 3, p. 801-8066 p.
The colour of autumn leaves as symptoms of cellular recycling and defences against environmental stressesOugham, H. J., Thomas, H., Morris, P. & Schatten, G. P. (ed.) 2005 In : Current Topics in Developmental Biology.66, p. 135-16026 p.
Databases for managing genetic resources collections and mapping populations of forage and related speciesThomas, I. D., Ougham, H. J., Roberts, L. A., Peltier, D. & Humphreys, M. O. (ed.) 2005
Introgression mapping in the grassesKing, I. P., King, J., Armstead, I. P., Harper, J. A., Roberts, L. A., Thomas, H., Ougham, H. J., Jones, R. N., Thomas, A. M., Moore, B. J. & Humphreys, M. O. (ed.) 2005 p. 31-4111 p.
Discriminating stay-green grasses using hyperspectral imaging and chemometricsTaylor, J., Moore, B. J., Rowland, J. J., Thomas, H. & Ougham, H. J. 2005 Molecular breeding for the genetic improvement of forage crops and turf. Humphreys, M. O. (ed.). Wageningen Academic Publishers, p. 120
Analysis of the chlorophyll catabolism pathway in leaves of an introgression senescence mutant of Lolium temulentumRoca, M., James, C. L., Pruzinská, A., Hörtensteiner, S., Thomas, H. & Ougham, H. J. 2004 In : Phytochemistry.65, 9, p. 1231-12388 p.
Bioinformatics: bringing data to a usable form for breedersOugham, H. J. & Huang, L. S. 2004 In : Plant Breeding.p. 18-225 p.
Chlorophylls and their breakdown in green plant tissues: genetic and environmental controlOugham, H. J., Hortensteiner, S., Roca, M., Thomas, H., James, C. L. & Dufossel, L. (ed.) 2004 p. 8-103 p.
Photoinhibition and resistance to winter damage in stay-green amenity grassesGay, A., Smith, E. L., Kingston-Smith, A., Thorogood, D., Roca, M., Ougham, H., Thomas, H., Evans, C., Davies, T. & Moss, L. 2004 Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A.Vol. 137, S170
Forage breeding and management to increase the beneficial fatty acid content of ruminant productsDewhurst, R. J., Scollan, N. D., Lee, M. R. F., Ougham, H. J. & Humphreys, M. O. 2003 In : Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.62, 2, p. 329-3368 p.
Defining senescence and death.Wagstaff, C., Thomas, H., Ougham, H. J. & Stead, A. J. 2003 In : Journal of Experimental Botany.54, 385, p. 1127-11326 p.
Update of ILGI and other Lolium data in the forage grass genome database (FOGGDB)Ougham, H. & Huang, L. 2003 p. "209
Hyperspectral imaging and machine learning as a no-invasive screening tool to determine crop maturity, nutritional status and stressOugham, H., Gay, A., Donnison, I., Thomas, H., Evans, C. & Rowlands, J. 2003 p. AR09
Hyperspectral imaging and machine learning as a non-invasive screening tool to determine crop maturity, nutritional status and stressOugham, H., Gay, A., Donnison, I., Thomas, H., Evans, C. & Rowlands, J. 2003
Gibberellin-mediated proteasome-dependent degradation of the barley DELLA protein SLN1 repressorFu, X., Richards, D. E., Ait-Ali, T., Hynes, L. W., Ougham, H. J., Peng, J. & Harberd, N. P. 2002 In : Plant Cell.14, 12, p. 3191-320010 p.
What stay-green mutants tell us about nitrogen remobilization in leaf senescenceOugham, H. J., Canter, P. H., Donnison, I. S., Thomas, H., Lea, P. J. (ed.), Morot-Gaudry, J. F. (ed.) & Hirel, B. (ed.) 2002 In : Journal of Experimental Botany.p. 801-8088 p.
Hyperspectral imaging as a non-invasive tool to determine crop maturity, nutritional status and stressGay, A., Donnison, I., Taylor, J., Thomas, H. & Ougham, H. 2002
Both light-dependent protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase A and protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase B are down-regulated in the slender mutant of barleyArmstrong, G. A., Frick, G. A., Thomas, A. M., Thomas, B. J. & Ougham, H. J. 2001 In : Journal of Experimental Botany.52, 360, p. 1447-14548 p.
Recent advances in the cell biology of chlorophyll catabolismThomas, H., Ougham, H. J. & Hortensteiner, S. 2001 In : Advances in Botanical Research.35, p. 1-5252 p.
De Novo Evolution of Satellite DNA on the Rye B ChromosomeLangdon, T., Seago, C. M., Jones, R. N., Ougham, H., Thomas, H., Forster, J. W. & Jenkins, G. 2000 In : Genetics.154, 2, p. 869-88415 p.
Morphological and biochemical characterization of spikelet development in naked oats (Avena sativa)Ougham, H. J., Latipova, G. & Valentine, J. 1996 In : New Phytologist.134, 1, p. 5-12
Leaf development in Lolium temulentum: characterization of a slow-to-green mutantOugham, H., Thomas, A. M., Thomas, B. J., Roberts, P. C., Mutinda, C., Hayward, M. D. & Dalton, S. 1992 In : New Phytologist.122, 2, p. 261-272
Temperature shock proteins in plantsOugham, H. & Howarth, C. 1988 Plant and Temperature. Long, S. P. & Woodward, F. I. (eds.). Society for Experimental Biology, Vol. 42, p. 259-280 (Society for Experimental Biology)