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William (Bill) Davies


Bill is Distinguished Professor of Plant Biology at Lancaster University, UK, working within the Lancaster Environment Centre. He has a degree in Horticultural Science from the University of Reading, UK, and a PhD in Forestry and Botany from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA.

Bill has a general interest in interventions that might enhance global food security, while his research group focuses on understanding how crop plants cope with adverse environmental conditions. The focus of much work has been the exploitation of novel understanding of plant hormone relations, both in crop improvement and crop management programs, aimed at increasing crop yield as the climate changes.

In 2009, the lab won a Queen’s Award for Innovation for work on sustainable use of resources in agriculture and was particularly commended for effective knowledge exchange with the food production industry. The Davies lab works extensively in China on food and water security in collaboration with China Agricultural University and others, while work on identifying traits for increased resilience of wheat plants under drought and heat stress is in collaboration with CIMMYT.

In June 2011, Bill was awarded a CBE for services to Science in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. He was elected as a Corresponding Member of the American Society of Plant Biologists in 2009, is an Honorary Member of the Society for Experimental Biology, an Honorary Research Fellow at Rothamsted Research, and is currently President of the UK Association of Applied Biologists.


Du T, Kang S, Zhang J, Davies, WJ. (2015)
Deficit irrigation and sustainable water-resource strategies in agriculture for China’s food security.
_Journal of Experimental Botany 66:2253–2269.

Price AH, Norton GJ, Salt DE, Ebenhoeh O, Meharg AA, Meharg C, et al. (2013)
Alternate wetting and drying irrigation for rice in Bangladesh: is it sustainable and has plant breeding something to offer?
Food and Energy Security 2:120–129.

Wilkinson S, Mills G, Illidge R, Davies WJ. (2012)
Food Security: how is ozone pollution reducing our food supply?
Journal of Experimental Botany 63(2):527–53.

Yusuke Saijo

Board Member