Dr Richard Gibson
Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Natural Resources Institute
Richard Gibson has worked at the University of Greenwich for 18 years. Since 1991, he has been a Plant Pathologist at the Natural Resources Institute. Prior to that he was, the principal scientific officer at the Rothamsted Experimental Station.
Richard Gibson's key interest is development of sustainable means of controlling plant viruses, mainly through plant breeding. He has worked mainly with root crops and has also been associated with breeding new resistant varieties of sweet potato, cassava and potato, mainly through participatory plant breeding. Richard believes his work on reversion will prove critical in developing virus resistant sweet potato.
Current and Previous Funded Research Projects
2013 -2016: Commercialising clean sweet potato seed production in areas with a long dry season. Value: £1 x 106), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Partners include ARI-Ukiriguru, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Tanzania, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Agro Eco consult, Ngetta Zonal Agricultural Research & Development Institute and the University of Gulu.
The project seeks to understand the marketing system for sweet potato vines in Uganda and Tanzania, to improve it generally by making multipliers more business-like and to improve it specifically by linking multipliers to research and so gaining access to improved varieties and improved methods of propagation.
2008–12: How resistant plant varieties avoid suppression of RNA silencing by viruses as exemplified by sweetpotato. Value: £550,000. Funded by the BBSRC. Partners included Makerere University, Uganda; International Potato Center (CIP), Peru, Central Science Laboratory and Department of Plant Sciences, Cambridge University, UK.
As the title implies, the project sought to understand the biochemical and other processes by which sweet potato was able to revert to healthy through an RNA silencing mechanism.
Responsibilities within the University
- PhD supervision
- Manu-Aduening, J.A., Lamboll, R.I., Ampong Mensah, G., Lamptey, J.N., Moses, E., Dankyi A.A., Gibson, R.W. 2006. Development of superior cassava cultivars in Ghana by farmers and scientists: the process adopted, outcomes and contributions and changed roles of different stakeholders. Euphytica, 144, 331-340
- Gibson, Richard W., Byamukama, Emmanuel, Mpembe, Isaac, Kayongo, James and Mwanga, Robert O.M. (2008) Working with farmer groups in Uganda to develop new sweet potato cultivars: decentralisation and building on traditional approaches. Euphytica, 159 (1-2). pp. 217-228. ISSN 0014-2336 (Print),1573-5060 (Online) (doi:10.1007/s10681-007-9477-4)
- Gibson, Richard W. (2009) A review of perceptual distinctiveness in landraces including an analysis of how its roles have been overlooked in plant breeding for low-input farming systems. Economic Botany, 63 (3). pp. 242-255. ISSN 0013-0001 (print) (doi:10.1007/s12231-009-9086-3)
- Mwanga R O M, Kigozi B, Namakula J, Mpembe I, Niringiye C, Tumwegamire S, Gibson R W, Yencho G C. 2010. Submission to the Variety Release Committee for release of sweetpotato varieties 2009. National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO). 41pp.
- Gibson, Richard, Mpembe, I. and Mwanga, R.O.M. (2011) Benefits of participatory plant breeding (PPB) as exemplified by the first-ever officially released PPB-bred sweet potato cultivar. The Journal of Agricultural Science, 149 (5). pp. 625-632. ISSN 0021-8596 (Print) 1469-5146 (Online) (doi:10.1017/S0021859611000190)
- Gibson, R.W., Mpembe, I. & Mwanga, R. O. M. 2011. The role of participatory plant breeding as exemplified by the release of the sweetpotato variety NASPOT 11 in Uganda in 2010. Aspects of Applied Biology 107: 71-76.
- Wasswa, P., Otto, B., Maruthi, M.N., Mukasa, S.B., Monger, W. and Gibson, R.W. (2011) First identification of a sweet potato begomovirus (sweepovirus) in Uganda: Characterization, detection and distribution. Plant Pathology, 60 (6). pp. 1030-1039. ISSN 0032-0862 (Print), 1365-3059 (Online) (doi:10.1111/j.1365-3059.2011.02464.x)
- Mwanga, Robert O.M., Niringiye, Charles, Alajo, Agnes, Kigozi, Benjamin, Namukula, Joweria, Mpembe, Isaac, Tumwegamire, Silver, Gibson, Richard W. and Yencho, Craig (2011) 'NASPOT 11', a sweetpotato cultivar bred by a participatory plant-breeding approach in Uganda. HortScience, 46 (2). pp. 317-321. ISSN 0018-5345 (Print)
- Namanda, Sam, Gibson, Richard and Sindi, Kirimi (2011) Sweetpotato Seed Systems in Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture , 35 (8). pp. 870-884. ISSN 1044-0046 (print), 1540-7578 (online) (doi:10.1080/10440046.2011.590572)
- Clark, Christopher A., Davis, Jeffrey A., Abad, Jorge A., Cuellar, Wilmer J., Fuentes, Segundo, Kreuze, Jan F., Gibson, Richard William, Mukasa, Settumba B., Tugume, Arthur K., Tairo, Fred Donati and Valkonen, Jari P.T. (2012) Sweetpotato viruses: 15 years of progress on understanding and managing complex diseases. Plant Disease, 96 (2). pp. 168-185. ISSN 0191-2917 (doi:10.1094/PDIS-07-11-0550)
Recent Conference Presentations
- RW Gibson & PW Wasswa: Is the ability to revert an alternative to distribution of virus-free planting material of sweetpotato to East African farmers?. International Plant Virus Epidemiology Meeting: Arusha, Tanzania, January 2013.
- Member, Association of Applied Biologist
- Member, British Society of Plant Pathology
- Heading the seed systems work of the Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA) in Uganda, a multi-million dollar project managed by the International Potato Center and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr Richard Gibson
Natural Resources Institute
University of Greenwich
Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0)1634 88 3254