Professor Tina Barsby OBE

Special advisor
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Tina, a plant geneticist well-known for her scientific achievements and significant experience in the agricultural crop sector, is a former CEO of NIAB.

Tina has led and managed multifaceted, product driven, research and development programmes in North America and UK/mainland Europe. She has a first degree in agricultural botany from the University of Wales at Bangor, and a PhD from the University of Nottingham. She spent a postdoctoral period at Kansas State University, and worked at Allelix Inc, Ontario, Canada for several years before returning to the UK in 1989. Tina then joined Nickerson UK (now part of the LG Group) where she remained until joining NIAB in 2006.

She became NIAB Director and CEO in 2008, retiring in 2021. Tina brought a range of technology from her previous scientific career and oversaw its development to play a key role in providing genetically-modified and gene-edited plants for the study of gene functions, enabling precise trait-directed breeding. She was instrumental in the initiation and implementation of innovative approaches in plant breeding including the first public-good programme for wheat breeding in the UK since the closure of the Plant Breeding Institute in 1987.

  • Professor Barsby is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Society and was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List for services to Agricultural Sciences and Biotechnology.
  • She was awarded an Honorary Professorship in Agricultural Botany by the University of Cambridge in 2021.

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