Giles Oldroyd is a plant geneticist recognised for his work on beneficial microbial associations of plants that facilitate the capture of nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients. He was born and bred in Yorkshire, UK. He graduated from the University of East Anglia and undertook his PhD research at the University of California, Berkeley, working on bacterial pathogens of plants. He began work on beneficial microbial interactions, as a Howard Hughes medical institute postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and began as an independent investigator at the John Innes Centre, UK in 2002. In 2017 he moved to the University of Cambridge and since 2019 heads the Crop Science Centre, University of Cambridge. He is a member of EMBO, foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences and fellow of the Royal Society.

Research Interests

The green revolution brought significant yield improvements for many cereal crops, primarily resulting from the ability to apply nitrogenous fertilisers. However, the predominant beneficiaries of these yield improvements remain wealthy farmers in developed nations and fertiliser application accounts for a significant proportion of the pollution derived from agriculture. Achieving more equitable and sustainable agricultural systems requires a different solution to nitrogen in agriculture, other than the application of fertilisers. Giles Oldroyd studies the mechanisms by which plants form beneficial interactions with micro-organisms, both bacteria and fungi, that aid in the uptake of nutrients from the environment, including nitrogen. A long-term aim of this research is to reduce agricultural reliance on inorganic fertilisers and he heads an international programme of research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 25: Plant Biology