New IBERS Director appointed

Professor Mike Gooding

Professor Mike Gooding

25 June 2014

Professor Mike Gooding has today, Wednesday 25 June, been announced as the new Director for the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University.

Professor Gooding is currently a Professor of Crop Science and Agronomy, and Head of the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading. 

He also holds the positions of Director of the Crops Research Unit and is Course Director for the BSc in Agriculture.

Originally from Sussex, Professor Gooding is a graduate of Birmingham University and Harper Adams. An accomplished academic, Professor Gooding has developed his career through positions held at the Sports Turf Research Institute in Bingley, the Royal Agricultural College in Gloucestershire and since 1996 at the University of Reading.

Professor Gooding’s research interests address the sustainable intensification of agriculture: particularly how to enhance nutrient uptake and use by crops so that yield and quality can be improved in changing environments. 

The work examines genetic, climatic and agronomic influences on crop performance for human foodstuffs and nutrition, livestock feed and industrial uses.

He is currently Co-Chair of the Crop Systems Biology Division of the European Society of Agronomy, and has previously been invited to provide expert opinion for the Home-Grown Cereals Authority, DEFRA and BBSRC. 

The author of 200 publications, his research interests and expertise has led to a significant number of presentations and speaking engagements at internationally renowned conferences and events across the globe.

Commenting on Professor Gooding’s appointment, Aberystwyth University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor April McMahon, said; “I welcome Professor Gooding’s appointment very warmly. He brings an excellent balance of leadership and scientific experience and a strong University background. He is clearly aware of the vital role IBERS plays as an engine of the University’s success and a key contributor to the economy, and has a real wish to become involved in Wales and the local community. I am very much looking forward to working with him, and I’m confident that colleagues across the University will be enthusiastic about his appointment and his future contribution”.

Professor Gooding said; “IBERS is clearly a leading institution and in an exceptional position to deliver graduates, solutions and products to sustain development, provide food and energy security, and to mitigate and adapt to environmental change.  I am naturally very excited about the prospect of working with the staff, students and wider community, as we make wide-ranging beneficial impacts in the biological, environmental and rural sectors”.

Professor Melanie Welham, Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council’s (BBSRC) Science Director, said; “We are delighted to welcome Professor Gooding as the new Director of IBERS. IBERS research is strategically aligned to the challenges in agriculture, food security, industrial biotechnology and bioenergy that BBSRC-funding is aiming to address. Professor Gooding brings a wealth of experience that will help to realise the important social and economic benefits of this research and keep IBERS at the forefront of UK agriculture and crop science.”

Professor Gooding will take up his post at Aberystwyth University on 1 October 2014.

Professor Gooding succeeds Professor Wayne Powell who was recently appointed as Chief Science Officer of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), based in Montpellier in France.

Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)
IBERS is an internationally recognised research and teaching centre providing a unique base for research in response to global challenges such as food security, bioenergy and sustainability, and the impacts of climate change. IBERS scientists conduct basic, strategic and applied research from genes and molecules to organisms and the environment.

IBERS receives strategic research funding from the BBSRC to support long term mission driven research, and is a member of the National Institutes of Bioscience. IBERS also benefits from financial support from the Welsh Government, DEFRA and the European Union.

IBERS works with both academic and industrial partners, developing and translating innovative bioscience research into solutions designed to mitigate the impacts of climate change and plant and animal diseases, and deliver renewable energy and food and water security.