Fred Stoddard


Description of research and teaching

My research projects focus on legume crops, sustainability and crop quality.

Europe suffers from a huge deficit in plant protein: 70% of its plant protein needs are imported, mostly soya bean from North and South America, and mostly to feed pigs and chickens. At the same time, its rotations are too narrowly based on the high-yielding small-grain cereals, particularly wheat and barley, so soil-borne diseases may become endemic. Furthermore, European agriculture relies heavily on inputs of nitrogen from fertilizer and, to a lesser extent, manure, with impacts on greenhouse gas releases and nitrate leaching. Many of these difficulties, and others, can be at least partially resolved by increased usage of grain legumes that fix their own nitrogen, provide high-protein seeds for food and feed use, leave at least some nitrogen-rich residue for following crops, and break the cycles of soil-borne diseases of cereals while promoting the growth of beneficial soil micro-organisms. 

Yields of legumes lag behind those of the cereals, as do their stress resistances, largely due to a relative lack of breeding effort for the past 2-3 decades. In order for European legume yields and yield stability to improve, and to withstand the increased stresses expected from climate change, new sources of stress resistance, yield and quality need urgently to be identified for the major grain legume crops. The new traits then need to be transferred into agronomically viable cultivars by developing rapid, omics-supported methods. Hence we have had a successful project using the Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy, in collaboration with ICARDA, to identify potential sources of drought adaptation in faba bean, and combined this with genetic mapping in collaboration with the University of Reading in order to identify chromosome regions associated with the adaptive traits. PhD candidate Hamid Khazaei has run this project, and I hope to have further students working on other stresses such as waterlogging and acid soil tolerance, as these are already important in many countries and are expected to become more so.

Crop quality is also important, and I enjoy working with colleagues in the feed and food sciences, here and abroad, on aspects of grain legume quality.

Legume Futures ( was an EU FP7-funded project on legume-supported crop rotations for Europe, their positive and negative environmental impacts, and the ways of developing these systems for greater sustainability. I led Work Package 1, on field trials and case studies. Dr Kristina Lindström of the Department of Food and Envrionmental Sciences was also involved, along with animal and soil scientists. Associated projects include Fabapapuaines and KotiPalko, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, which also funded an earlier associated project MoniPalko. In this project we have screened a number of foreign cultivars of several grain legume species and have identified some that can become crops in this country. The first of these are the blue lupins Haags Blaue from Saatzucht Steinach in Germany and Sonet from Poznan Plant Breeding in Poland. These projects have led to further spin-off projects that support the PhD work of Clara Lizarazo and various MSc projects.

The Sustainable energy cropping project, funded by the Academy of Finland, aimed to minimize the negative environmental impact of bioenergy crop production in Finland. A key part of the project was the use of legumes to provide biologically fixed nitrogen for the energy crop, either in rotation or in a crop mixture, or even as the energy crop itself, and in this way to minimize the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilizer with its attendant problems of leaching into water supplies and volatilization as nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas. Another part of the project looked at the management of acid sulphate soils for energy cropping, and the effects of these management practices on the physiology and growth of the energy crops. The project had partners in soil science and results were shared with economists and agricultural technologists for modelling and policy development. In our group, Dr Arja Santanen and Mr Epie Kenedy were employed on this project.

My teaching in the department relates to these research themes and I contribute to several courses on agronomy, crop science and crop quality. In addition, I run several of the department's service courses for international and master's-level students, including (together with colleagues) the courses on scientific writing and on experimental design and analysis.

Further information on the affiliationVisiting scientist, 06.08.2005-31.01.2007 Docentship awarded 11.01.2006

Curriculum Vitae

Previous employment

Department of Applied Biology, University of Helsinki, Finland

Visiting Scientist  06.08.2005 – 31.01.2007

School of Applied Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, UK

Professor of Crop Improvement  01.08.2004 – 01.08.2005

Reader  04.01.2001 – 31.07.2004

Plant Breeding Institute, The University of Sydney and the Quality Wheat CRC Ltd, Australia

Senior Research Fellow  01.09.1998 – 01.01.2001

Research Fellow  01.07.1995 – 01.09.1998

Plant Breeding Institute, The University of Sydney, Australia

Research Fellow  01.01.1992 –30.06.1995

Department of Plant Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Australia

Research Fellow  01.05.1988 – 31.12.1991

Research Associate 05.12.1985 – 30.04.1988

Education and training

University of Cambridge and Plant Breeding Institute, Cambridge, UK  1981-1985

PhD, 08.06.1985

Project: Fertilisation in Vicia faba L. in relation to breeding objectives

Scholarships: Imperial Oil (Canada) Graduate Research Fellowship; St. John’s College (Cambridge) Benefactor’s Studentship

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada 1978-1981

MSc (Biology), 25.05.1981

Scholarship: Centennial Science Scholarship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada 1974-1978

BSc (First Class Honours in Biology), 1978; University Medal in Science 1978

Highlighted publications

  1. The EU's dependence on soya bean import for the animal feed industry and potential for EU produced alternatives

    de Visser, C., Schreuder, R. & Stoddard, F. 2014 In : Oilseeds and fats, crops and lipids . 21, 4, 8 p., D407

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  2. Do faba bean (Vicia faba L.) accessions from environments with contrasting seasonal moisture availabilities differ in stomatal characteristics and related traits?

    Khazaei, H., Street, K., Santanen, A., Bari, A. & Stoddard, F. 2013 In : Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 60, 8, p. 2343-2357 15 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  3. A baseline study of vicine–convicine levels in faba bean (Vicia faba L.) germplasm

    Khamassi, K., Ben Jeddi, F., Hobbs, D., Irigoyen, J., Stoddard, F., O'Sullivan, D. M. & Jones, H. 2013 In : Plant Genetic Resources. 11, 03, p. 250-257 8 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  4. Content of zinc, iron and their absorption inhibitors in Nicaraguan common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

    Meyer, M. R. M., Rojas, A., Santanen, A. & Stoddard, F. L. 2013 In : Food Chemistry. 136, 1, p. 87-93 7 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  5. The environmental role of protein crops in the new Common Agricultural Policy

    Bues, A., Preissel, S., Reckling, M., Zander, P., Kuhlman, T., Topp, K., Watson, C., Lindström, K., Stoddard, F. & Murphy-Bokern, D. Jun 2013 Brussels: European Parliament, Directorate General for Internal Policies, Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies, Agricultural and Rural Development . 119 p.

    Research output: ProfessionalCommissioned report

  6. 12th Congress of the European Society for Agronomy: Helsinki, Finland, 20-24 August 2012. Abstracts

    Stoddard, F. (ed.) & Mäkelä, P. (ed.) 2012 Helsinki: University of Helsinki, Department of agricultural sciences. 599 p. (University of Helsinki, Department of agricultural sciences publication series; no. 14)

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewAnthology

  7. Conversion of carbohydrates in herbaceous crops during anaerobic digestion

    Pakarinen, A., Kymäläinen, M., Stoddard, F. & Viikari, L. 2012 In : Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 60, 32, p. 7934-7940 7 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  8. Faba beans in sustainable agriculture

    Rubiales, D. (ed.), Duc, G. (ed.) & Stoddard, F. (ed.) 2010 (Field Crops Research; vol. 115, no. 3)

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewAnthology

  9. Integrated pest management in faba bean

    Stoddard, F. L., Nicholas, A. H., Rubiales, D., Thomas, J. & Villegas-Fernandez, A. M. 2010 In : Field Crops Research. 115, p. 308-318 11 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview Article

  10. Physiology of flowering and grain filling in faba bean

    Patrick, J. W. & Stoddard, F. L. 2010 In : Field Crops Research. 115, p. 234-242 9 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview Article

  11. Winter hardiness in faba bean: Physiology and breeding

    Link, W., Balko, C. & Stoddard, F. L. 2010 In : Field Crops Research. 115, 3, p. 287-296 10 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview Article

  12. Legumes in Finnish agriculture: history, present status and future prospects

    Stoddard, F. L., Hovinen, S., Kontturi, M., Lindström, K. & Nykänen, A. 2009 In : Agricultural and Food Science. 18, 3/4, p. 191-205 15 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview Article

  13. Evaluation of physiological traits for improving drought tolerance in faba bean (Vicia faba L.)

    Khan, H. U. R., Link, W. & Stoddard, F. 2007 In : Plant and Soil. 292, 1-2, p. 205-217 13 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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Highlighted activities

  1. EC Directorate General for Agriculture / European Innovation Partnership (External organisation)

    Stoddard, F. (Chair)
    12 Sep 201328 Feb 2014

    Activity: MembershipMembership or other role in national/international committee, council, board

  2. European Parliament, Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

    Stoddard, F. (Visiting researcher)
    25 Apr 2013

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionAcademic visit to other institution

  3. European Society for Agronomy (External organisation)

    Stoddard, F. (Board member)
    Aug 2012Aug 2014

    Activity: MembershipMembership or other role in national/international committee, council, board

  4. ESA12, the 12th Congress of the European Society for Agronomy

    Stoddard, F. (Chair)
    20 Aug 201224 Aug 2012

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  5. Lupin Crops -- 13th International Lupin Conference

    Stoddard, F. (Speaker: Presenter)
    6 Jun 201110 Jun 2011

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  6. Legumes for Global Health: 5th international food legumes research conference and 7th European conference on grain legumes

    Stoddard, F. (Speaker: Presenter)
    26 Apr 201030 Apr 2010

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

View all (228) »


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