Staff profile

Kambiz  Baghalian

Dr Kambiz Baghalian


Role

Senior Lecturer in Crop Production


Biography

Kami has 15 years international experience in research and education. He has worked in some of the most prestigious research/education establishments including Wageningen University (Netherlands), Tokyo University of Agriculture (Japan), Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research-IPK (Germany), University of Oxford and University Centre-Hadlow. Kami runs R&D research projects as lead scientist, teaches undergraduate and graduate students as well as supervising their research projects.


Research

Research Interests

Outdoor crop production is underpinned by, and in many cases limited by, the capacity of environmental factors to support/promote their productivity. There has been a rising concern on how to support sustainable cropping in the 21st century considering challenges such as climate change, land deficiency and population increase. Recent developments on indoor crop production with regards to software (computer aid technology) and hardware (glasshouse structure, hydroponics systems, supplementary lighting, etc.), have offered new approaches to improve sustainable cropping.

Kami’s research aims to develop a better understanding of the interaction of plants and the protected environment and establishing/improving systems that will improve the productivity and quality of production. His recent research project focuses on developing a new design of LED lighting and vertical farming technology to grow seedlings /micro salads more sustainably. This is an EIRA funded project with major input from key industries in the sector.

Research background

Kami’s original research interest was to study the phytochemical and genetic diversity to enable plant breeders to produce improved varieties (Baghalian et al. 2005; Baghalian et al. 2006). The task to extract and analyse the plant compounds gave Kami greater understanding of secondary metabolism and merging this knowledge with his crop production background, led Kami into the new line of research interest he pursued in his new role as assistant professor. Within this role, he carried out research on studying the diversity of some industrially important herbs (Baghalian et al. 2010b; Baghalian et al. 2010c) as well as studying how abiotic stress can affect phytochemical and phenotypic performances of plants such as chamomile (Matricaria recutita) (Baghalian et al. 2008; Baghalian et al. 2011).

On completion of his PhD project, Kami was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship and moved to Tokyo University of Agriculture, where he was involved with advanced molecular research and applying related bioinformatics (Baghalian et al. 2010a). The computational aspect of his research to unlock the metabolic network, led Kami into his next position and he moved to IPK-Germany where he began to bridge his biology background and computational biology (Baghalian et al. 2014). To pursue his research, in 2013, Kami moved to Oxford University where he worked under Professor George Ratcliffe’s supervision to develop computational models of large-scale plant metabolic networks (Shameer et al. 2018). Kami Joined Hadlow University Centre in 2015 to teach and program lead students on the Commercial Horticulture BSc program. In his recent role he has managed to establish/extend collaborative researches with key industry representative with a focus on indoor crop production and hydroponics. Some of the main collaborations are:

  • Liaise with Thanet Earth to manage the company’s large scale variety trials on tomatoes and peppers hydroponic production.
  • Collaboration with OMEX to run efficacy trials of their products on table top strawberry production
  • Collaboration with Tozer Seeds, UK's largest independent vegetable breeder, to produce vegetable seeds.
  • Running an Erasmus funded projects on establishing indoor and outdoor living walls in collaboration with Scotscape Company
  • Variety trial on asparagus crop in collaboration with Plant Global Genetics

Citations:

  • Baghalian, K., Ziai, S.A., Naghavi, M.R., Badi, H.N. and Khalighi, A. (2005) 'Evaluation of allicin content and botanical traits in Iranian garlic (Allium sativum L.) ecotypes', Scientia Horticulturae, 103(2), 155-166.
  • Baghalian, K., Naghavi, M.R., Ziai, S.A. and Badi, H.N. (2006) 'Post-planting evaluation of morphological characters and allicin content in Iranian garlic (Allium sativum L.) ecotypes', Scientia Horticulturae, 107(4), 405-410.
  • Baghalian, K., Haghiry, A., Naghavi, M.R. and Mohammadi, A. (2008) 'Effect of saline irrigation water on agronomical and phytochemical characters of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.)', Scientia Horticulturae, 116(4), 437-441.
  • Baghalian, K., Kim, O.K. and Natzuaki, K.T. (2010a) 'Molecular variability and genetic structure of the population of Onion yellow dwarf virus infecting garlic in Iran', Virus Genes, 41(2), 282-291.
  • Baghalian, K., Maghsodi, M. and Naghavi, M.R. (2010b) 'Genetic diversity of Iranian madder (Rubia tinctorum) populations based on agro-morphological traits, phytochemical content and RAPD markers', Industrial Crops and Products, 31(3), 557-562.
  • Baghalian, K., Sheshtamand, M.S. and Jamshidi, A.H. (2010c) 'Genetic variation and heritability of agro-morphological and phytochemical traits in Iranian saffron (Crocus sativus L.) populations', Industrial Crops and Products, 31(2), 401-406.
  • Baghalian, K., Abdoshah, S., Khalighi-Sigaroodi, F. and Paknejad, F. (2011) 'Physiological and phytochemical response to drought stress of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.)', Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 49(2), 201-207.
  • Baghalian, K., Hajirezaei, M.R. and Schreiber, F. (2014) 'Plant metabolic modeling: Achieving new insight into metabolism and metabolic engineering', Plant Cell, 26(10), 3847-3866.
  • Shameer, S., Baghalian, K., Cheung, C.Y.M., Ratcliffe, R.G. and Sweetlove, L.J. (2018) 'Computational analysis of the productivity potential of CAM', Nature Plants, 4(3), 165-171.