Photograph of Dr Matthew Hegarty.Dr Matthew Hegarty

Research Lecturer in Quantitative Genetics


Office: IBERS Phenomics Centre, Gogerddan Campus
Phone: +44 (0) 1970 622284


I run the IBERS Translational Genomics facility, which provides next-generation DNA sequencing and high-throughput genotyping to the whole of IBERS (and collaborators). As such, my primary role is driving the adoption and use of these technologies for a range of projects in both plant, animal and microbial systems. I am also in charge of overseeing the research themes of the Genomic Diversity Group at Aberystwyth, which requires me to conduct research in a number of areas related to genetic diversity (particularly the use of natural diversity in improving plant breeding programmes) and conservation genetics in both plant and animal systems (see the GDG webpage for more information).


I obtained my Ph.D from the University of Bristol in 2002 based on studies in Professor Keith Edwards’ laboratory on the use of transposon-tagging to identify genes involved in grain development of maize and wheat. I subsequently undertook two postdoctoral research projects at Bristol on the consequences of hybrid speciation and polyploidy in Senecio (ragworts) with Professor Simon Hiscock. In addition to my scientific interests, I am a keen amateur photographer.



Kam, J., Hegarty, M., Manwaring, H.R., Yadav, R., Yadav, R. 2016. Developing low GI pearl millet and its potential in combating diabetes. Plant and Animal Genome Conference XXIV, San Diego, California, United States of America, 09/01/2016 - 13/01/2016.

Skujina, I., McMahon, R., Lenis, V.P., Gkoutos, G., Hegarty, M. 2016. Duplication of the mitochondrial control region is associated with increased longevity in birds. Aging 10.18632/aging.101012

Blackmore, T., Thorogood, D., Skot, L., McMahon, R., Powell, W., Hegarty, M. 2016. Germplasm dynamics: the role of ecotypic diversity in shaping the patterns of genetic variation in Lolium perenne. Scientific Reports 6 22603 10.1038/srep22603

Grinberg, N., Lovatt, A., Hegarty, M., Macfarlane, A.C., Skot, K., Kelly, R., Blackmore, T., Thorogood, D., King, R.D., Armstead, I., Powell, W., Skot, L. 2016. Implementation of genomic prediction in Lolium perenne (L.) breeding populations. Frontiers in Plant Science 7 133 10.3389/fpls.2016.00133

Cameron, S., E. Lewis, K., Huws, S., Lin, W., Hegarty, M., D. Lewis, P., Mur, L., Pachebat, J.A. 2016. Metagenomic Sequencing of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Upper Bronchial Tract Microbiome Reveals Functional Changes Associated with Disease Severity. PLoS One 11 (2) 0149095 10.1371/journal.pone.0149095


Huson, K.M., Haresign, W., Hegarty, M., Blackmore, T., Potter, C., McEwan, N. 2015. Assessment of Genetic Relationship between Six Populations of Welsh Mountain Sheep using Microsatellite Markers. Czech Journal of Animal Science 60 (5) pp. 216-223. 10.17221/8171-CJAS

Winton, C.L., Plant, Y., Hind, P., McMahon, R., Hegarty, M., McEwan, N., Davies-Morel, M., Powell, W., Nash, D. 2015. Comparative genetic diversity in a sample of pony breeds from the UK and North America: A case study in the conservation of global genetic resources. Ecology and Evolution 5 (16) pp. 3507-3522. 10.1002/ece3.1562

Jones, C., Lloyd, D., Hegarty, M., de Vega, J., Ayling, S., Skot, L. 2015. Comparitive population genomics of red clover domestication and improvement. Proceedings of the 12th British Grassland Society Research Conference. BGS 12th Research Conference, Abersytwyth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 07/09/2015 - 09/09/2015. British Grassland Society pp. 59-60.

Gonen, S., Hegarty, M., Yadav, R., Manwaring, H.R., Yadav, R. 2015. Developing low GI pearl millet and its potential in combatting diabetes. UK PlantSci, Harper Adam University, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 14/04/2015 - 15/04/2015.

Facey, P.D., Méric, G., Hitchings, M.D., Pachebat, J.A., Hegarty, M.J., Chen, X., Morgan, L.V.A., Hoeppner, J.E., Whitten, M.M.A., Kirk, W.D.J., Dyson, P.J., Sheppard, S.K., Del Sol, R.. 2015. Draft Genomes, Phylogenetic Reconstruction, and Comparative Genomics of Two Novel Cohabiting Bacterial Symbionts Isolated from Frankliniella occidentalis. Genome Biology and Evolution 7 (8) pp. 2188-2202. 10.1093/gbe/evv136

Ellison, A.R., Rodrigues Lopez, C.M., Morán, P., Breen, J., Swain, M., Megias, M., Hegarty, M., Wilkinson, M.J., Pawluk, R., Consuegra Del Olmo, S. 2015. Epigenetic regulation of sex ratios may explain natural variation in self-fertilization rates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282 (1819) pp. 1900. 10.1098/rspb.2015.1900

Hadfield, S.J., Pachebat, J.A., Swain, M.T., Robinson, G., Cameron, S.J.S., Alexander, J., Hegarty, M.J., Elwin, K., Chalmers, R.M. 2015. Generation of whole genome sequences of new Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum isolates directly from stool samples. BMC Genomics 16 650 10.1186/s12864-015-1805-9

Blackmore, T., Thomas, I., McMahon, R., Powell, W., Hegarty, M. 2015. Genetic-geographic correlation revealed across a broad European ecotypic sample of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) using array-based SNP genotyping. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 128 (10) pp. 1917-1932. 10.1007/s00122-015-2556-3

Giorgi, D.., Farina, A., Langdon, T., Hegarty, M., Bisaga, M.R., Lucretti, S. 2015. Progress in Oat FISHIS and Chromosome Specific Sequencing. Plant and Animal Genome XXIII, San Diego, United States of America, 10/01/2015 - 14/08/2015.

de Vega, J., Ayling, S., Hegarty, M.J., Kudrna, D., Goicoechea, J.L., Ergon, Å., Rognli, O., Jones, C., Swain, M.T., Geurts, R., Lang, C., Mayer, K.F.X., Rössner, S., Yates, S.A., Webb, K.J., Donnison, I.S., Oldroyd, G.E.D., Wing, R., Caccamo, M., Powell, W., Abberton, M.T., Skot, L. 2015. Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) draft genome provides a platform for trait improvement. Scientific Reports 5 17394 10.1038/srep17394

Cameron, S.J.S., Huws, S., Hegarty, M.J., Smith, D.P.M., Mur, L.A.J. 2015. The human salivary microbiome exhibits temporal stability in bacterial diversity. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 91 (9) fiv091 10.1093/femsec/fiv091

Hawkins, J., de Vere, N., Griffith, A., Ford, C.R., Allainguillaume, J., Hegarty, M.J., Baillie, L., Adams-Groom, B. 2015. Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify the Floral Composition of Honey. A New Tool for Investigating Honey Bee Foraging Preferences. PLoS One 10 (8) pp. e0134735. 10.1371/journal.pone.0134735


Thorogood, D., Blackmore, T.M., Mathews, R., Allen, D., MacDuff, J.H., Hegarty, M.J. 2014. A genetic association between leaf elongation rate and flowering time in perennial ryegrass. In . Sokolović, C. Huyghe, J. Radović (eds), Quantitative Traits Breeding for Multifunctional Grasslands and Turf. Springer pp. 267-271.

Yates, S.A., Swain, M.T., Hegarty, M.J., Chernukin, I., Lowe, M.J., Allison, G.G., Ruttlink, T., Abberton, M.T., Jenkins, G., Skøt, L. 2014. De novo assembly of red clover transcriptome based on RNA-Seq data provides insight into drought response, gene discovery and marker identification. BMC Genomics 15 pp. 453. 10.1186/1471-2164-15-453

Dudek, M., Adams, J., Swain, M., Hegarty, M., Huws, S., Gallagher, J. 2014. Metaphylogenomic and Potential Functionality of the Limpet Patella pellucida’s Gastrointestinal Tract Microbiome. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 15 (10) pp. 18819-18839. 10.3390/ijms151018819

Hargreaves, A., Swain, M.T., Hegarty, M.J., Darren, L., John, M. 2014. Restriction and recruitment-gene duplication and the origin and evolution of snake venom toxins. Genome Biology and Evolution 6 (8) pp. 2088-2095. 10.1093/gbe/evu166 Other

Thorogood, D., Manzanares, C., Hegarty, M.J., Asp, T., Barth, S., Studer, B. 2014. The Genetic Control of Self-Incompatibility in Grasses Revisited – Are There Really Just Two Loci? Plant & Animal Genome XXII Conference, San Diego, United States of America, 10/01/2014 - 15/01/2014. pp. W092. Other Other

Mully, J.F., Hargreaves, A., Hegarty, M., Heller, R.S., Swain, M. 2014. Transcriptomic analysis of the lesser spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) pancreas, liver and brain reveals molecular level conservation of vertebrate pancreas function. BMC Genomics 15 1074 10.1186/1471-2164-15-1074


Edwards, A., Pachebat, J.A., Swain, M.T., Hegarty, M.J., Hodson, A.J., Irvine-Fynn, T.D., Edwards Rassner, S.M., Sattler, B. 2013. A metagenomic snapshot of taxonomic and functional diversity in an Alpine glacier cryoconite ecosystem: Alpine cryoconite metagenome. Environmental Research Letters 8 (3) 035003 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035003

Domoney, C., Knox, M., Moreau, C., Ambrose, M., Palmer, S., Smith, P., Christodoulou, V., Isaac, P., Hegarty, M.J., Blackmore, T.M., Swain, M.T., Ellis, N. 2013. Exploiting a fast neutron mutant genetic resource in Pisum sativum L. (pea) for functional genomics. Functional Plant Biology 40 (12) pp. 1261-1270. 10.1071/FP13147

Winton, C.L., Hegarty, M.J., McMahon, R., Slavov, G.T., McEwan, N.R., Davies-Morel, M.C.G., Morgan, C.T., Powell, W., Nash, D.M. 2013. Genetic diversity and phylogenetic analysis of the native mountain ponies of Britain and Ireland reveal a novel rare population. Ecology and Evolution 3 (4) pp. 934–947. 10.1002/ece3.507

Hegarty, M.J., Yadav, R.S., Lee, M.R., Armstead, I.P., Sanderson, R., Scollan, N.D., Powell, W., Skøt, L. 2013. Genotyping by RAD sequencing enables mapping of fatty acid composition traits in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne (L.)). Plant Biotechnology Journal 11 (5) pp. 572–581. 10.1111/pbi.12045

Hegarty, M., Coate, J., Sherman-Broyles, S., Abbott, R.J., Hiscock, S.J., Doyle, J. 2013. Lessons from Natural and Artificial Polyploids in Higher Plants. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 140 (2-4) pp. 204-225. 10.1159/000353361

McMahon, R., Hegarty, M.J. 2013. Red Kite Genetics – The Research. Boda Wennol

Jones, C.M., Hegarty, M.J., Ravagnani, A. 2013. The production and analysis of a synthetic hybrid: Trifolium pallescens x Trifolium occidentale. Plant and Animal Genome XXI, San Diego, California, United States of America, 12/01/2013 - 16/01/2013. pp. P0365. Other


Hegarty, M.J. 2012. Invasion of the hybrids. Molecular Ecology 21 (19) pp. 4669-4671. 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05720.x

Winton, C.L., Hegarty, M.J., Slavov, G.T., McEwan, N.R., Davies-Morel, M.C.G., Potter, C., Powell, W., Nash, D.M. 2012. Phylogeographic relationships between native pony populations of Britain and Ireland.


Reader, R., Parrott, C., Hegarty, M., McEwan, N.R., Davies-Morel, M., Powell, W., Nash, D.M. 2011. An investigation of the role of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) in determining adult height of the horse. BSAS, Nottingham, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 04/04/2011 - 05/04/2011. pp. 175-175.

Winton, C.L., Hegarty, M.J., McEwan, N.R., Davies-Morel, M.C.G., Powell, W., Nash, D.M. 2011. Characterisation of phylogeographic relationships between native pony populations of Britain and Ireland. Ecological Genetics Group, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 19/04/2011 - 21/04/2011.

Hegarty, M.J. 2011. Hybridization: Expressing yourself in a crowd. Current Biology 21 (7) pp. R254-R255. 10.1016/j.cub.2011.02.035 Cadair

Hegarty, M.J., Batstone, T., Barker, G.L., Edwards, K.J., Abbott, R.J., Hiscock, S.J. 2011. Nonadditive changes to cytosine methylation as a consequence of hybridization and genome duplication in Senecio (Asteraceae). Molecular Ecology 20 (1) pp. 105-113. 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04926.x Cadair

Allen, A., Thorogood, C.J., Hegarty, M.J., Lexer, C., Hiscock, S.J. 2011. Pollen-pistil interactions and self-incompatibility in the Asteraceae: new insights from studies of Senecio squalidus (Oxford ragwort). Annals of Botany 108 (4) pp. 687-698. 10.1093/aob/mcr147 Cadair


Abbott, R.J., Hegarty, M.J., Hiscock, S.J., Brennan, A.C. 2010. Homoploid hybrid speciation in action. Taxon 59 (5) pp. 1375-1386. Cadair Other


Hegarty, M.J., Barker, G.L., Brennan, A.C., Brennan, A.C., Edwards, K.J., Abbott, R.J., Hiscock, S.J. 2009. Extreme changes to gene expression associated with homoploid hybrid speciation. Molecular Ecology 18 (5) pp. 877-889. 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2008.04054.x

Jones, R.N., Hegarty, M. 2009. Order out of chaos in the hybrid plant nucleus. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 126 (4) pp. 376-389. 10.1159/000266171

Abbott, R.J., Brennan, A.C., James, J.K., Forbes, D.G., Hegarty, M.J., Hiscock, S.J. 2009. Recent hybrid origin and invasion of the British Isles by a self-incompatible species, Oxford ragwort (Senecio squalidus L., Asteraceae). Biological Invasions 11 (5) pp. 1145-1158. 10.1007/s10530-008-9382-3 Cadair

Hegarty, M.J., Hiscock, S.J. 2009. The complex nature of allopolyploid plant genomes. Heredity 103 (2) pp. 100-101. 10.1038/hdy.2009.61 Cadair Other


Hegarty, M.J., Barker, G.L., Brennan, A.C., Edwards, K.J., Abbott, R.J., Hiscock, S.J. 2008. Changes to gene expression assocaitted with hybrid speciation in plants: further insights from transcriptomic studies in Senecio. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 363 (1506) pp. 3055-3069. 10.1098/rstb.2008.0080