John Bradshaw spent the whole of his 34 year career (1975-2009) as a plant breeder and geneticist at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI, formerly the Scottish Plant Breeding Station and now the James Hutton Institute), having studied genetics at the Universities of Cambridge (BA in Natural Sciences-Genetics-1971), Birmingham (MSc in Applied Genetics-1972) and East Anglia (John Innes Institute-PhD in Applied Genetics-1975).
He worked on barley, brassicas (kale, swedes and turnips) and potatoes; doing research on the applications of genetics to plant breeding methods as well as breeding two kale and three swede cultivars, and contributing to the breeding of four more swedes, a turnip, and 27 potatoes. He was particularly interested in methods of kale population improvement, the genetic basis of heterosis in swedes, the theory and practice of linkage and QTL analysis in tetraploid potatoes, and breeding for quantitative resistance to pests and diseases (clubroot in kale, powdery mildew in swedes, and late blight and cyst nematodes in potatoes). He completed his career at SCRI as Head of Potato Breeding and Manager of the Potato Genetics Programme, funded by the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Research and Analysis Directorate.
He has written extensively on plant breeding and genetics, has served on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals, and is widely travelled, having presented his research at international meetings over many years. He presented his first paper at a EUCARPIA meeting as a research student at the John Innes Institute; on “Environmental and genotype-environmental studies in Impatiens”, to the meeting on ornamentals in April 1974. He presented papers to the Biometrics in Plant Breeding Section on kale, swedes and potatoes over the period 1981 to 2003; and to the Potatoes Section and Congresses during his period as chairperson of the Section Potatoes from 2000 to 2009.
He has been an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Potato Association since 2008 and of SCRI (now JHI) since 2009. In 2010 he received the British Potato Industry Award in recognition of his contribution to potato research and knowledge transfer.
3 May 2012