Gustavo Slafer

Office: Main Building A office 2:02

+34 973 003659

+34 973 702690


PhD, University of Melbourne, Australia
MSc, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ing.Agr., Univ. Nacional de La Plata, Argentina


Improvements in crop performance in terms of both productivity and efficiency of resource-use will remain to be a major objective of agronomy and naturally, then, a focal aim of any breeding or agronomic decision-making program. The eminently empirical approach of trial-and-error used in both cereal breeding (mostly selecting for yield per se) and crop management design (mostly determining the yield responses to particular practices) has been successful in the past to rise yields but unsuccessful in avoiding environmental risks, frequently associated with productivity. There is a growing consensus that to increase the likelihood to regain the rate of productivity gains achieved by cereal breeders/agronomists until now, but with a more friendly interaction with the natural environment and the prevention of contamination of soils, air and water, it may be needed to reach an analytical approach for understanding the fundamental physiology of the crop and apply elements from this discipline in both breeding and management improvements proposed. In addition, improving our knowledge of the physiological bases of crop performance under field conditions would also help (i) breeding programs in facilitating the use of molecular biology to improve yield potential of grain crops, and in reducing the size, and then the costs, of modern breeding programmes; and (ii) agronomy programs by increasing the efficiency in the use of resources and then in developing techniques requiring lower levels of resources used more efficiently and being thus more environmentally friendly, whilst still improving performance. These sorts of improvements (that crop physiology of cereals may help breeding and agronomy -collectively and interactively- to achieve), are expected to bring about a simultaneous enhancements of both productivity and sustainability.

Professional Experience

2004 – now

Research Professor of ICREA (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) based at the Universitat de Lleida, Department of Crop and Forest Sciences (also Associate Professor at this Department)
Presently Editor or member of Editorial boards of Crop Science, Euphytica, Field Crops Research, European Journal of Agronomy and Food and Energy Security; and Honorary Professor of the School of Biosciences of the University of Nottingham (UK)

1995 – 2003

Researcher of CONICET (National Council of Scientific Research of Argentina) based at IFEVA (Agricultural Plant Physiology and Ecology Research Institute, located at the School of Agronomy of the Univ of B.Aires). Last position: Principal Scientist

1985 – 2003

Teaching and research activities at the School of Agronomy of the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). Last positions held were: Associate Professor in the Cereals Unit, Professor of the Graduate School, Director of the Crop Production Programme of the Graduate Studies School.