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Crops Research

Department Objectives

To develop cost effective crop production systems that:

  • Improve competitiveness, profitability and product quality
  • Minimise impact on the environment

To develop molecular tools and breeding approaches that:

  • Determine the genetic basis for key traits/characteristics of crops, weeds, pests and pathogens that impact on production
  • Allow the incorporation of improved disease resistance and other traits in varieties targeted for Irish growing conditions

Department Structure

Head of Department

John Spink

Crop Agronomy & Sustainable Production

Break Crops - Sheila Alves

Agronomy - John Finnan and Richie Hackett

Mechanisation - Dermot Forristal

Pathology - Stephen Kildea

Entomology - Louise McNamara

Crop Improvement & Biotechnology

Biotechnology - Susanne Barth, Dan Milbourne and Ewan Mullins

Bioinformaticist - Stephen Byrne

Breeder - Denis Griffin

Department Activities

  • Developing a new approach to crop improvement by sourcing and integrating improved genetics e.g. VICCI
  • Monitoring the changing challenges caused by resistance development in pathogens weeds and pests
  • Developing more robust cropping systems including rotations, cultivations, targeted nutrients and integrated pest management


Read more about the department Crops Research (PDF)