University of Birmingham, School of Biosciences (UK)

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Project members:

Nigel Maxted, Brian Ford-Lloyd, Shelagh Kell


The School of Biosciences is an internationally recognised centre of plant genetic resource (PGR) conservation and genetics. In the recent University Funding Council Research Selectivity Exercise, in which all University departments in the UK were assessed for the quality of their research, the School received the top rating of 5 (on a 1-5 scale). The School of Biosciences has 65 full time academic staff, with an additional 100 other research staff and over 150 current research students organised into 6 research tasks covering the full range of biosciences. The School also offers the only full MSc in PGR Conservation and Use in Europe, the course was originally established in 1969. The school was coordinator of a EU project on genetic resources management and conservation of crop wild relatives in Europe, leading a European research consortium of 23 European partners (PGR-Forum).

Role and tasks in the project

The main task of this partner will be the co-ordination of WP 3, dealing with the Regional Workshops and the International Meetings, and the elaboration of recommendations and strategies to improve the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources in the regions. Partners in the Asian countries will benefit from their expertise on crop wild relatives, landraces and on-farm conservation. A substantial input is also expected to WP 2 regarding the identification of main issues from the European point of view. This partner will also guarantee that our project will have close cooperation and knowledge exchange with other European networks on plant genetic resources.