Dr Gordon Graham Allison

BEACON Scientist


Aberystwyth University


I have worked as a scientist in Aberystwyth since 1991. I graduated in biochemistry at the University of Dundee in 1984 and obtained a PhD in microbiology from the University of Swansea in 1991on the uptake and metabolism of purines by marine micro-algae.  My research interests have included the molecular engineering of condensed tannin composition in forage legumes and the identification of plasma metabolite biomarkers of spongiform encephalopathies in preclinical cattle and sheep.

Research Interests

My research looks at the complex effect of plant cell wall composition on conversion efficiency to heat, power, chemicals and liquid fuels. It has focused largely on biomass crop species e.g. Miscanthus, switchgrass, reed canary, willow and perennial forage grasses.

The goals of my research include expanding understanding of cell wall biology in energy crop species and facilitating the breeding of energy grass varieties of a composition better matched to specific end uses. I use many analytical techniques to characterise cell wall and specialise in developing high through put assays based on infrared analysis and multivariate mathematics.

BEACON Activities

Analysis of feed stock and residue composition and analysis of complex data sets. Future Plans

  • Interact with BEACON partners and industry to use advanced analytical and chemometric techniques to underpin projects.


  • Mayorga, O., Kingston-Smith, A., Kim, E.-J., Allison, G., Wilkinson, T. J., Heggarty, M. J., Theodorou, M., Newbold, C. J. and Huws, S., Frontiers in Microbiology (2016) doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01854, Temporal metagenomic and metabolomic characterization of fresh perennial ryegrass degradation by rumen bacteria
  • Corton, J., Fraser, M., Bridgwater, A., Wachendorf, M., Buhle, L., Hodgson, E., Allison, G., Patel, M. & Donnison, I., Applied Energy (2016) 177 852-862, Expanding the biomass resource: sustainable oil production via fast pyrolysis of low input high diversity biomass and the potential integration of thermochemical and biological conversion routes
  • Cameron, S. J. S., Lewis, K. E., Beckmann, M., Allison, G. G., Ghosal, R., Lewis, P. D. and Mur, L. J., Lung Cancer (2016) 94 88–95 The metabolomics detection of lung cancer biomarkers in sputum
  •  Upham, P., Klapper, R. and Allison, G. G., Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship (2015) 2 70–80, Who owns the future? Reflections on patenting, private value accrual and societal disbenefit in the context of biofuel technology transfer
  • Webb, J., Cookson, A., Allison, G., Sullivan, M. L. and Winters, A., Frontiers in Plant Science (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2014.00700, Polyphenol oxidase affects normal nodule development in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)
  • Yates, S., Swain, M., Hegarty, M., Chernukin, I., Lowe, M., Allison, G., Ruttink, T., Abberton, M., Jenkins, G. I. and Skot, L., BMC Genomics (2014) 15 453, De novo assembly of red clover transcriptome based on RNA-Seq data provides insight into drought response, gene discovery and marker identification
  •  Da Costa, R., Lee, S., Allison, G., Hazen, S., Winters, A. and Bosch, M., Annals of Botany (2014) 116 1265-1277, Genotype, development and tissue derived variation of cell wall properties in the lignocellulosic energy crop Miscanthus
  •  Belanche, A., Weisbjerg, M., Allison, G., Newbold, C. and Moorby, J., J. Dairy Sci (2014) 97 2361-2375, Measurement of rumen dry matter and neutral detergent fiber degradability of feeds by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy
  • Slavov, G. T., Nipper, R., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Allison, G. G., Bosch, M., Clifton-Brown, J. C., Donnison, I. S. and Jensen, E., New Phytologist (2014) 201 1227-1239, Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis
  • Belanche, A., Weisbjerg, M., Allison, G., Newbold, C. and Moorby, J., J. Dairy Science (2013) 96 7867-7880, Estimation of feed crude protein concentration and rumen degradability by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Slavov, G. and Allison, G. G. and Bosch, M., Frontiers in Plant Science (2013) DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00217, Advances in the genetic dissection of the Miscanthus cell wall
  •  Webb, K. J., Cookson, A., Allison, G.; Sullivan, M. and Winters, A., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2013) 31 7421-7430, Gene expression patterns, localisation and substrates of polyphenol oxidase in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)
  • Slavov, G., Robson, P., Jensen, E.,Hodgson, E., Farrar, K., Allison, G., Hawkins, S., Thomas-Jones, S., Ma, X.-F., Swaller, T., Flavell, R., Clifton-Brown, J. and Donnison, I., GCB Bioenergy (2013) 5 562-571, Contrasting geographic variation for molecular markers vs. phenotypic traits in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis
  • Allison, G. G., Morris, C., Lister, S. J., Barraclough, T., Yates, N., Shield, I. and Donnison, I. S. Biomass and Bioenergy (2012) 40 19-26. Effect of nitrogen fertiliser application on cell wall composition in switchgrass and reed canary grass
  • Robbins, M.P., Evans, G., Valentine, J., Donnison, I.S. and Allison, G.G. (2012) Progress in Energy and Combustion Science 38 138-155. New opportunities for the exploitation of energy crops for combustion in Northern Europe and the UK
  • Valentine, J., Clifton-Brown, J.,  Hastings, A.,  Robson, P., Allison, G. and Smith, P. (2012), Global Change Biology Bioenergy (2012) U 1-19, Food vs. fuel: the use of land for lignocellulosic ‘next generation’ energy crops that minimise competition with primary food production