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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Ian Dodd supervises 21 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Ian Dodd

Professor of Sustainable Agriculture

Ian Dodd

Lancaster University

LEC Building



Tel: +44 1524 593809

Research Interests

As an Australian, Ian is used to droughts, and regularly applies them to plants “in his care”, to understand the fundamental mechanisms by which plant root systems communicate the effects of drought to the shoot. This research has been applied to improve crop water use efficiency (“crop per drop”) in aiming to guarantee food production within a changing climate.

Ian’s primary responsibility in the department is being Director of Study of the MSc Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security

Published research

His published work includes over 70 refereed journal papers (see link above), many on the irrigation technique known as “partial rootzone drying” which was derived from a laboratory experiment originally conducted at Lancaster.  More recent papers have also examined the effects of naturally occurring soilborne bacteria and various soil amendments on crop growth and water use.

He has collaborated extensively with European researchers via the following FP7 projects

SIRRIMED: Sustainable use of irrigation water in the Mediterranean region (www.sirrimed.org)

DROPS: Drought tolerant yielding plants (www.dropsproject.eu)

ROOTOPOWER: Empowering root-targeted strategies to minimize abiotic stress impacts on horticultural crops (www.rootopower.eu)

WATBIO: Development of improved perennial non-food biomass and bioproduct crops for water stressed environments (www.watbio.eu)

Additional funding sources include

  • the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • Horticultural Development Council (HDC)

Current research

The PhD students he supervises work on a range of topics including root physiology and phenotyping, deficit irrigation techniques, crop nutrition and urban agriculture. His laboratory regularly receives overseas visitors, especially from drier parts of the world (than UK) such as Spain, Italy, Turkey and China.


Ian is currently:

  • handling editor of the Journal of Experimental Botany
  • associate editor of the journal Irrigation Science
  • Member of the Plant Sector Group of the Technology Strategy Board


Ian’s teaching includes:

Outside interests

When not engaged in academic duties, Ian can be found at the Bowerham Lawn Tennis Club where (predictably) his favourite surface is grass

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