Aberystwyth University has today (Friday, March 24) announced the appointment of Professor Gancho Slavov as its new Germinal chair of crop genomics.

The university said Slavov’s appointment is part of its ongoing investment into cutting-edge science relating to the breeding of new agricultural grass and forage seed varities.

Slavov’s appointment follows a 30-year collaboration between Germinal – a grassland variety innovator – and the university’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS).

Commenting on Slavov’s appointment, managing director for Germinal UK and Ireland Paul Billings said: “We’re delighted to welcome Prof. Slavov to this senior research position funded by Germinal.

“His experience and expertise reflect the future of plant breeding in genomics and phenotyping.

“Whilst well established in animal genetics, and increasingly used in other crops, genomics has not been widely used to date in grass and forage breeding.

“We believe that the accuracy of breeding, and the potential rate of gain that it offers, mean that it is vital to the rapid mitigation of climate change in ruminant livestock.”

Slavov said he was looking forward to “contributing and supporting” both the university and Germinal in their commitment to building a “resilient and sustainable farming industry”.

“Plant breeding is likely to become increasingly reliant on innovations in genomics and phenotyping for greater agility in the face of climate change and market uncertainties,” he said.

Prof. Iain Donnison, head of IBERS at Aberystwyth University, said Salvov’s international experience will greatly benefit the institute.

“We are proud to have such a strong team of experts – leaders in their fields both nationally and internationally,” he said.

“Our partnership with Germinal is an important part of the world-class research and innovation that takes place here in the fields of climate change and biodiversity.”