Our Team

Ji Zhou

Head of Data Sciences Department


Ji Zhou (周济) is Head of the Data Sciences Department at NIAB. He is an expert in multi-scale plant phenotyping, computer vision (CV) based trait analysis, IoT, and artificial intelligence (AI) modelling. Since his appointment at NIAB in early 2020, he and his collaborators have been jointly contributing to the plant research community worldwide, including AI and CV powered analytic solutions for assessing seed quality and vigour (e.g. SeedGerm), screening nitrogen use efficiency wheat varieties using LiDAR (CropQuant-3D), performing drone phenotyping to quantify growth-related trait for crop improvement (AirMeasurer), establishing ultra-scale yield prediction for lettuces (AirSurf), and monitoring wheat growth and yield formation (e.g. CropSight and YieldQuant-Mobile). These studies were enabled by cross-disciplinary research with labs in the UK (e.g. the University of Cambridge), France (e.g. INRAe and the University of Angers), Japan (the Tokyo University), and China (the Chinese Academy of Sciences).
Ji is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB), a core member of PhenomUK, an associate editor for journals such as Horticulture Research and Plant Phenomics. Since 2013, he has published 30+ research articles (both English and Chinese) in leading academic journals. Moreover, Ji works closely with breeding and growing companies such as Bayer Crop Science, Limagrain, Syngenta and the POME consortium. He holds a Professorship (chair) at the Nanjing Agricultural University, course lecturer and project supervisor for MPhil in Crop Sciences, computer science undergraduates at the University of Cambridge. Prior to NIAB, Ji was a project leader at Earlham, a joint research fellow between JIC and TGAC, and a post-doctoral researcher at The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) in Norwich. Before his academic career, he worked in industry for nearly a decade, initially as a bilingual IT professional in Shanghai, then a systems analyst and a project consultant at Aviva UK.


22 Dec 2023The dissection of Nitrogen response traits using drone phenotyping and dynamic phenotypic analysis to explore N responsiveness and associated genetic loci in wheat Author(s): Ding G, Shen L, Dai J, et al., Zhou J*

28 Jul 2022AirMeasurer: open-source software to quantify static and dynamic traits derived from multi-seas7on aerial phenotyping to empower genetic mapping studies in rice. Author(s): Sun G, Lu H, et al., Han B*, Zhou J*

16 Jul 2021Large-scale field phenotyping using LiDAR and CropQuant-3D to measure structural responses in wheat. Author(s): Zhu Y, Sun G, Ding G, et al., Ober E, Zhou J*

13 Jun 2020SeedGerm: a cost-effective phenotyping platform for automated seed imaging and machine-learning based phenotypic analysis of crop seed germination Author(s): Colmer J, et al., Penfield S*, Zhou J*

1 Jun 2019Combining computer vision and deep learning to enable ultra-scale aerial phenotyping and precision agriculture: a case study of lettuce Author(s): Bauer A, Bostrom A, Ball J, Applegate C, et al., Zhou J*

31 Jan 2019CropSight: a scalable open and distributed data management system for crop phenotyping and IoT based crop management Author(s): Reynolds D, et al., Zhou J*

1 Jan 2018Speed breeding is a powerful tool to accelerate crop research and breeding Author(s): Amy Watson, Sreya Ghosh, Matthew J. Williams, William S. Cuddy, James Simmonds, María-Dolores Rey, M. Asyraf Md Hatta, Alison Hinchliffe, Andrew Steed, Daniel Reynolds, Nikolai M. Adamski, Andy Breakspear, Andrey Korolev, Tracey Rayner, Laura E. Dixon, Adnan Riaz, William Martin, Merrill Ryan, David Edwards, Jacqueline Batley, Harsh Raman, Jeremy Carter, Christian Rogers, Claire Domoney, Graham Moore, Wendy Harwood, Paul Nicholson, Mark J. Dieters, Ian H. DeLacy, Ji Zhou, Cristobal Uauy, Scott A. Boden, Robert F. Park, Brande B. H. Wulff & Lee T. Hickey

22 Dec 2017Leaf-GP: an open and automated software application for measuring growth phenotypes for arabidopsis and wheat Author(s): Ji Zhou, Christopher Applegate, Albor Dobon Alonso, Daniel Reynolds, Simon Orford, Michal Mackiewicz, Simon Griffiths, Steven Penfield & Nick Pullen

16 Mar 2017Genomic innovation for crop improvement. Author(s): Bevan M. W., Uauy C., Wulff B. B. H., Zhou J., Krasileva K., Clark M. D.

19 Oct 2012Spatio-Temporal Cellular Dynamics of the Arabidopsis Flagellin Receptor Reveal Activation Status-Dependent Endosomal Sorting Author(s): Martina Beck, Ji Zhou, Christine Faulkner, Daniel MacLean, and Silke Robatzek1

Ji’s Team