School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Ankush Prashar

Lecturer in Crop Science


Ankush Prashar’s education and career thus far has been focussed on genetics and breeding for plant stress related traits. He graduated from the Punjab Agricultural University with a BSc in Agriculture (Hons in Soils Science), completed an MSc in Applied Genetics and PhD in Quantitative genetics and functional genomics from University of Birmingham. During his postdoctoral position at Cardiff University he worked on genetics of optical traits and 3D imaging in Avian model. In his previous job as Geneticist at The James Hutton Institute (previously Scottish Crop Research Institute), he was involved in developing tools and techniques for high throughput phenotyping to map stress traits in potato and soft fruit and associate these with high throughput genotyping.

For publications and citations please see my Google Scholar Profile


The aim of my current research is to understand the adaptive responses to stress in crops and deliver knowledge and tools to aid breeding for increased resilience to environmental stress conditions. This involves developing high throughput technology and methodology for phenotyping using imaging sensors and use these to fully exploit our ability to perform high throughput genotypic analysis. Thus my research work targets to bridge the gap between genetics and physiology. While understanding the genetic control of for plant stress, this will also allow us to build towards sustainable agriculture and application in precision farming.

Specific research questions to address and research building on:

  • High throughput Phenotyping methods using visual, multi and hyperspectral imaging tools.

  • Bridging gap between high throughput approaches (link with genetics and genomics)

  • Stress monitoring and crop management

  • Understanding adaptive response to plant stress

  • Modelling interactions GxExM by understanding diversity and link with commercially important traits

  • Breeding strategies and crop improvement  


Lecture in Crop Science related disciplines

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Degree Programme Director for BSc Honours in Applied Plant Science

  • ACE2024: Principles of Agronomy and Crop Improvement (Module Leader)

  • BIO1020: Genetics and Evolution

  • ACE1041: Investigating Agri-food Systems from Farm to Folk

  • ACE1040: Academic and Professional Skills

  • ACE3039: Precision Agriculture incorporating Non-Combinable Crops

  • ACE2077: Sustainable Solutions

Postgraduate Teaching

  • ACE8067: Organic Farming and Food Production Systems 

  • ACE8101: Food Security: Sustainable Food Production


  • Melandri G, Prashar A, McCouch SR, van der Linden G, Jones HG, Kadam NN, Jagadish SVK, Bouwmeester H, Ruyter-Spira C. Association mapping and genetic dissection of drought-induced canopy temperature differences in rice. Journal of Experimental Botany 2020, 71(4), 1614-1627.
  • Kennard N, Stirling R, Prashar A, Lopez-Capel E. Evaluation of Recycled Materials as Hydroponic Growing Media. Agronomy 2020, 10(8), 1-27.
  • Choudhary A, Wright L, Ponce O, Chen J, Prashar A, Sanchez-Moran E, Luo Z, Compton L. Varietal variation and chromosome behaviour during meiosis in Solanum tuberosum. Heredity 2020, epub ahead of print.
  • Prashar A, Colwell FJ, Hornyik C, Bryan GJ. Advances in development of potato varieties resistant to abiotic stress. In: Gefu Wang-Pruski, ed. Achieving Sustainable Cultivation of Potatoes. BURLEIGH DODDS, 2018, pp.125-142.
  • Williams D, Britten A, McCallum S, Jones H, Aitkenhead M, Karley A, Loades K, Prashar A, Graham J. A method for automatic segmentation and splitting of hyperspectral images of raspberry plants collected in field conditions. Plant Methods 2017, 13, 74.
  • Prashar A, Jones HG. Assessing Drought Responses Using Thermal Infrared Imaging. In: Duque, P, ed. Environmental Responses in Plants. Springer, 2016, pp.209-219.
  • Obidiegwu JE, Bryan GJ, Jones HG, Prashar A. Coping with drought: stress and adaptive responses in potato and perspectives for improvement. Frontiers in Plant Science 2015, 6, 542.
  • Prashar A, Hornyik C, Young V, McLean K, Sharma SK, Dale MFB, Bryan GJ. Construction of a dense SNP map of a highly heterozygous diploid potato population and QTL analysis of tuber shape and eye depth. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 2014, 127(10), 2159-2171.
  • Prashar A, Jones HG. Infra-red thermography as a high throughput tool for phenotyping. Agronomy 2014, 4(3), 397-417.
  • Prashar A, Yildiz J, McNicol JW, Bryan GJ, Jones HG. Infra-red Thermography for High Throughput Field Phenotyping in Solanum tuberosum. PLoS ONE 2013, 8(6), e65816.
  • Birch PRJ, Bryan GJ, Fenton B, Gilroy EM, Hein I, Jones JT, Prashar A, Taylor MA, Torrance L, Toth IK. Crops that feed the world 8: potato: are the trends of increased global production sustainable. Food Security 2012, 4, 477-508.
  • Chen YP, Prashar A, Erichsen JT, To CH, Hocking PM, Guggenheim JA. Heritability of ocular component dimensions in chickens: genetic variants controlling susceptibility to experimentally induced myopia and pretreatment eye size are distinct. Investigative Opthalmology and Visual Science 2011, 52, 4012-4020.
  • Chen Yen-Po, Hocking PM, Wang L, Povazay B, Prashar A, To Chi-Ho, Erichsen JT, Feldkaemper M, Hofer B, Drexler B, Schaeffel F, Guggenheim JA. Selective Breeding for Susceptibility to Myopia Reveals a Gene–Environment Interaction. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2011, 52(7), 4003-4011.
  • Tattersall RJ, Prashar A, Singh KD, Tokarczuk PF, Erichsen JT, Hocking PM, Guggenheim JA. Ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging of crystalline lens dimensions in chicken. Molecular vision 2010, 16, 144-153.
  • Chen Yen-Po, Prashar A, Hocking PM, Erichsen JT, To Chi-Ho, Schaeffel F, Guggenheim JA. Sex, Eye Size, and the Rate of Myopic Eye Growth Due to Form Deprivation in Outbred White Leghorn Chickens. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2010, 51(2), 651-657. In Preparation.
  • Goodall N, Kisiswa L, Prashar A, Faulkner S, Tokarczuk P, Singh K, Erichsen JT, Guggenheim JA, Halfter W, Wride MA. 3-Dimensional modelling of chick embryo eye development and growth using high resolution magnetic resonance imaging. Experimental Eye Research 2009, 89(4), 511-521.
  • Prashar A, Hocking PM, Erichsen JT, Fan Q, Saw SM, Guggenheim JA. Common determinants of body size and eye size in chickens from an advanced intercross line. Experimental Eye Research 2009, 89(1), 42-48.
  • McMahon G, Zayats T, Chen Yen-Po, Prashar A, Williams C, Guggenheim JA. Season of Birth, Daylight Hours at Birth, and High Myopia. Ophthalmology 2009, 116(3), 468-473.
  • Guggenheim JA, Zayats T, Prashar A, To Chi-Ho. Axes of astigmatism in fellow eyes show mirror rather than direct symmetry. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics 2008, 28(4), 327-333.
  • Prashar A, Guggenheim JA, Erichsen JT, Hocking PM, Morgan JE. Measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP) in chickens using a rebound tonometer: Quantitative evaluation of variance due to position inaccuracies. Experimental Eye Research 2007, 85(4), 563-571.