Prof John Clifton-Brown


Prof John Clifton-Brown


Contact Details


1993 Research Assistant, I.A.T.A., Florence, Italy.
1997-2000 Assistant co-ordinator to the European Miscanthus Improvement Project while based in University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart.
2000-2002 Term lecturer in Plant Physiology at Trinity College Dublin.
2002-2004 Site manager for the Greengrass and CCFLUX projects based at Teagasc, Carlow, Ireland.
2004-present Project leader, Miscanthus breeding programme.

I was recruited to IGER to lead the public funded Miscanthus breeding programme in August 2004. My background up to this date was in ecophysiology (incorporating agronomy and quantification of greenhouse gas fluxes).

In the current position, it is apparent to me that an ecophysiological approach to exploiting genetic variation can be used to increase the genetic potential of Miscanthus in terms of higher yields and qualities in diverse environments.

By working alongside molecular biologists (in particular Iain Donnison), the opportunities to link different disciplines has already born fruit: (i) a responsive mode proposal to BBSRC to examine flowering time as a key trait influencing both yield and quality has been accepted for funding, (ii) an approved pre-proposal in response to the BBSRC's call for a bioenergy research centre with colleagues in IGER, RRES, JIC and Imperial College London.


BA Natural Science, Trinity College Dublin (1989-92)
PhD Plant Physiology and Agronomy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (1993-97)
Thesis title: The importance of temperature in controlling leaf growth of _Miscanthus_in Temperate Climates.

Committee, e


Miscanthus breeding, ecophysiology, climate change impacts and modelling.


Breeding programme
Public and privately funded work
Underpinning science for breeding

Public funding and many collaborations within the BEC programme including

  • Flowering time
  • Drought
  • Resource capture and allocation


Assessing seed priming, sowing date and mulch film to improve the germination and survival of direct sown Miscanthus sinensis in the UKAshman, C. R., Awty-Carroll, D., Mos, M., Robson, P. & Clifton-Brown, J. 2018 In : GCB Bioenergy.
Using k-NN to analyse images of diverse germination phenotypes and detect single seed germination in Miscanthus sinensisAwty-Carroll, D., Clifton-Brown, J. & Robson, P. 2018 In : Plant Methods.14, 7 p., 5
2- MiscanthusLewandowski, I., Clifton-Brown, J., Kiesel, A., Hastings, A. & Iqbal, Y. 2018 Perennial Grasses for Bioenergy and Bioproducts: Production, Uses, Sustainability and Markets for Giant Reed, Miscanthus, Switchgrass, Reed Canary Grass and Bamboo. Alexopoulou, E. (ed.). Academic Publications, p. 35-59
Heavy Metal Uptake by Novel Miscanthus Seed-Based Hybrids Cultivated in Heavy Metal Contaminated SoilKrzyzak, J., Pogrzeba, M., Rusinowski, S., Clifton-Brown, J., McCalmont, J., Kiesel, A., Mangold, A. & Mos, M. 2017 In : Civil and Environmental Engineering Reports.26, 3, p. 121-13212 p.
Genetic relationships between spring emergence, canopy phenology and biomass yield increase the accuracy of genomic prediction in MiscanthusDavey, C., Robson, P., Hawkins, S., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I. & Slavov, G. 2017 In : Journal of Experimental Botany.68, 18, p. 5093-5102
More publications on the Research Portal