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Dr Kami Baghalian

Senior Lecturer in Crop Production
Faculty:
Faculty of Science and Engineering
School:
Writtle School of Agriculture, Animal and Environmental Sciences
Location:
Writtle
Research Supervision:
Yes

With a career deeply rooted in crop production, Kami's primary research focus revolves around Totally Controlled Environment Technology (TCET) to advance crop production systems and bolster the sustainability of food production.

[email protected]
LinkedIn

Background

At ARU, Kami engages with a dynamic pool of enthusiastic undergraduate and postgraduate students. He has seamlessly integrated academic pursuits with active engagements in industries and start-up ventures.

Over more than two decades, Kami's international research journey has taken him to prestigious institutions, including Wageningen University, Tokyo University of Agriculture, the Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research-IPK in Germany, and the University of Oxford. He has actively pursued a research agenda dedicated to cutting-edge research projects aimed at advancing food security through Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) in crop production. Kami has successfully overseen a range of projects, from single researcher-led initiatives funded by international governmental bodies to collaborative projects with multiple partners, supported by UK knowledge exchange funding bodies such as Innovate UK and EIRA.

Spoken Languages
  • Persian
  • English
Research interests
  • Optimising Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) systems: exploring advanced techniques in energy efficiency, lighting (LEDs and traditional such as HPS), temperature control, and nutrient management to maximise yield and quality while minimising resource inputs. 
  • Crop adaptation to climate change: investigating how different crop species respond to changing environmental conditions, particularly in the context of climate change. This could involve studying genetic traits that confer resilience to heat, drought, pests, and diseases, as well as exploring agronomic practices that promote adaptation and mitigation strategies.
  • Crop genetics and breeding: traditional and marker-assisted breeding aimed at developing new varieties with improved traits suitable for cultivation in Totally Controlled Environment facilities.
  • Sustainable agriculture practices: promoting environmental stewardship, biodiversity conservation, and socio-economic viability through precision agriculture technologies, agroecological approaches, and alternative farming systems such as organic farming.
Areas of research supervision

Kami welcomes applications from undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in participating in research projects focusing on precision farming, total controlled environment agriculture, and sustainability.

Teaching

Kami teaches the following modules:

  • Crop Management Technology
  • Controlled Environment Agriculture
  • Sustainable Crop Production
  • Fresh Produce Production
  • Plant Physiology
Qualifications
  • PhD in Horticulture, Science and Research Campus-IAU
  • MSc in Horticulture, Tehran University
  • BSc in Horticulture, Tehran University
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Review Board Member, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • Board Editorial Member, Frontiers in Plant Science
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • UK Innovate-Higher Education Innovation Funding Award, 2022-23, £66,344, Principal Investigator
  • EIRA (Enabling Innovation Research to Application) Knowledge Transfer Award, 2020-21, £52,080, Principal Scientist and Investigator
  • Japanese Minister of Science Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award, September 2008
  • Recipient of the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) Postdoctoral Researcher Fund Award, October 2011
Selected recent publications

Baghalian, K. (2024). "Accepted": Using vertical farming systems for propagating everbearing strawberry: Physiological and technological feasibility assessment. Journal of Berry Research

Baghalian, K., Hajirezaei, M.-R., & Lawson, T. (2023). Editorial: Current and future perspectives for controlled environment agriculture (CEA) in the 21st century. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14, Editorial. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2023.1334641

Shameer, S., Baghalian, K., Cheung, C. Y. M., Ratcliffe, R. G., & Sweetlove, L. J. (2018). Computational analysis of the productivity potential of CAM. Nature Plants, 4(3), 165-171. 10.1038/s41477-018-0112-2

Baghalian, K., Hajirezaei, M. R., & Schreiber, F. (2014). Plant metabolic modeling: Achieving new insight into metabolism and metabolic engineering. Plant Cell, 26(10), 3847-3866. 0.1105/tpc.114.130328

Baghalian, K., Abdoshah, S., Khalighi-Sigaroodi, F., & Paknejad, F. (2011). Physiological and phytochemical response to drought stress of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.). Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 49(2), 201-207. 10.1016/j.plaphy.2010.11.010

Baghalian, K., Maghsodi, M., & Naghavi, M. R. (2010). 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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2010.02.012

Baghalian, K., Sheshtamand, M. S., & Jamshidi, A. H. (2010). 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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2009.12.010

Baghalian, K., Kim, O. K., & Natzuaki, K. T. (2010). Molecular variability and genetic structure of the population of Onion yellow dwarf virus infecting garlic in Iran. Virus Genes, 41(2), 282-291. 0.1007/s11262-010-0514-3

Baghalian, K., Haghiry, A., Naghavi, M. R., & Mohammadi, A. (2008). Effect of saline irrigation water on agronomical and phytochemical characters of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.). Scientia Horticulturae, 116(4), 437-441. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2008.02.014

Baghalian, K., Naghavi, M. R., Ziai, S. A., & 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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2005.11.008

Baghalian, K., Ziai, S. A., Naghavi, M. R., Badi, H. N., & Khalighi, A. (2005). Evaluation of allicin content and botanical traits in Iranian garlic (Allium sativum L.) ecotypes. Scientia Horticulturae, 103(2), 155-166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2004.07.001