Biao Hu

PhD student

Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, Energy Environment and Society

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I am Biao Hu and am from CHINA. I am a first year PhD student in University of Dundee started from Jan 2023. My research interests are around climate change and agri-food system. Outside of work, I like to play basketball.

Supervisors: Dr. Alexandra Morel; Prof. Mark Cutler                                           

Mapping the distributions of cold and heat stress on UK rapeseed crop and observing the stress using remote sensing

Climatic, edaphic, and field management stresses can suppress agricultural crops[1]. Among them, climatic stresses such as temperature stress can interfere crops’ growth and development, and consequently cause yield loss[1]. However, to date most research on agriculture crops’ temperature stress only focused either heat stress[1] or cold stress[2]. Investigations relate to aggregated cold and heat stress on agriculture crops are rarely reported with few exceptions for crops such as maize[3].

Rapeseed is the only oilseed that has large cultivation area in the UK[4, 5], where its cultivation began in the 1960s and 1970s[6]). While  some research activities have been conducted on the temperature effects on UK rapeseed[7-9] and global distributions of heat stress on four crops including soybean have been reported[1], peer reviewed quantitative frameworks elaborating the spatiotemporal distributions of hot spots of temperature (particularly combined cold and heat) stressed areas of UK rapeseed are not available. In addition, while plant stresses including temperature stress have been extensively studied on many crops cross differing geographical scales using remote sensing methods and vegetation indices[10], paucity of relevant research for UK rapeseed exists. Collectively, research activities tackling the mentioned gaps for UK rapeseed are scarce but are required for sustainable production in a changing climate.

Therefore, this project is designed to identify temperature stress maps of UK rapeseed and their spatiotemporal features and possible associations with land use and yield performance of this crop, to investigate whether the stress of UK rapeseed can be observed using remote sensing data. Daily temperature data will be collected, and stress model will be developed for mapping the areas where UK rapeseed may under temperature stress. Remote sensing data source will be identified, and appropriate vegetation indices will be selected to observe rapeseed crops which were stressed by extreme temperatures. Other climatic elements, beside temperature, such as precipitation may be included as this project proceeds. The present research program is expected to generate new knowledge on temperature impacts on UK rapeseed and provide insights on precision agriculture for oil crops and energy crops inside and outside the UK.


1.         Teixeira, E.I., et al., Global hot-spots of heat stress on agricultural crops due to climate change. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 2013. 170: p. 206-215.

2.         She, B., et al., Assessing and characterizing oilseed rape freezing injury based on MODIS and MERIS data. International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, 2017. 10(3): p. 143-157.

3.         Zhang, Y., et al., Negative effects of heat stress on maize yield were compensated by increasing thermal time and declining cold stress in northeast China. Int J Biometeorol, 2022. 66(12): p. 2395-2403.

4.         Hoffman, R. and M. Gerber, Can rapeseed oil replace olive oil as part of a Mediterranean-style diet? Br J Nutr, 2014. 112(11): p. 1882-95.

5.         Butterworth, M.H., et al., North-South divide: contrasting impacts of climate change on crop yields in Scotland and England. J R Soc Interface, 2010. 7(42): p. 123-30.

6.         Booth, E., et al., Economic Evaluation of Biodiesel Production from Oilseed Rape grown in North and East Scotland. 2005.

7.         Ortega-Ramos, P.A., et al., Modelling the factors affecting the spatiotemporal distribution of cabbage stem flea beetle (Psylliodes chrysocephala) larvae in winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus) in the UK. Pest Management Science, 2023.

8.         Evans, N., et al., Range and severity of a plant disease increased by global warming. JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE, 2008. 5(22): p. 525-531.

9.         Brown, J.K.M., R. Beeby, and S. Penfield, Yield instability of winter oilseed rape modulated by early winter temperature. Sci Rep, 2019. 9(1): p. 6953.

10.       Liu, S.S., et al., An Ensemble Modeling Framework for Distinguishing Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium Deficiencies in Winter Oilseed Rape (Brassica napus L.) Using Hyperspectral Data. Remote Sensing, 2020. 12(24): p. 17.