Staff, Students, and Associates

Adrian Roberts
Head of Operations


Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland
JCMB, The King's Buildings,
Peter Guthrie Tait Road,
EDINBURGH, EH9 3FD, Scotland, UK


Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4893

I am a consultant statistician with over 30 years of experience. Prior to BioSS, I worked in industry in molecular modelling and plant breeding. I have been at BioSS since 1998.

My main scientific roles at BioSS are in the UK system for plant variety assessment and registration and as the statistical consultant to SASA. My current research interests are in improved methods for crop variety evaluation, and I lead BioSS's role in the EU funded INVITE project. Other recent interests include statistical methods for phenology, Bayesian calibration, and the use of wastewater for monitoring COVID-19.

Variety trial methods

Our work in this area is focussed on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the plant variety registration system, and providing better information for farmers. In particular, we are investigating

  • optimal inference around the linear mixed models used routinely in analysis of trial data
  • improved methodology for assessing uniformity of new varieties
  • use of markers to enhance information on variety performance
  • use of markers to reduce costs of DUS testing
  • how to better present information to farmers

Selected Clients and Collaborators

  • SASA
  • Scottish Government
  • British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB)
  • Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)
  • Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
  • Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)
  • National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB)
  • Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)


  • UK Plant Varieties and Seeds Inter-departmental Statisticians Group (IDSG)
  • UK Vegetables DUS Group
  • International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants Technical Working Party on Testing Methods and Techniques (UPOV TWM)

Qualifications and Awards

BSc (Hons) in Mathematics. University of Manchester, 1987
MSc in Statistics. University of Sheffield, 1990

UPOV Bronze Medal



I am a keen cyclist and participate in long-distance riding ("Like fun only different"), as well as more relaxed tours.

Adrian with bike in front of infamous gate