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 currently heads an international programme funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations.
He completed his PhD in 1998 at the University of California, Berkeley, studying plant-pathogen interactions and then moved to Stanford University, USA, to work on nitrogen fixation in the laboratory of Prof. Sharon Long. After working 15 years as a group leader at the John Innes Centre in the UK, he moved to the University of Cambridge in 2017 and in 2019 was elected the Russell R Geiger Professor of Crop Sciences. In this role he directs the Crop Science Centre, an alliance between the University of Cambridge and NIAB. The Crop Science Centre strives to deliver transformative technologies that sustainably increase agricultural productivity for all the world’s farmers. In 2020 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of EMBO and in 2021 he was elected foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.