Paul Neve

Principal Research Scientist: Leader of Smart Crop Protection
Biointeractions and Crop Protection

My research focuses on the ecology, evolution and management of resistance to herbicides in agro-ecosystems. In addition to posing a major threat to sustainable crop production, resistance to herbicides is a classic example of rapid, human-induced evolution.  Management to slow, or even prevent the evolution of resistance must be grounded in a thorough understanding of the ecological and evolutionary drivers of selection for resistance. We use a range of approaches including experimental evolution, ecological experiments to explore fitness and life history trade-offs, quantitative and population genetics and modelling to unravel the evolutionary dynamics of herbicide resistance. We apply this understanding to design and test resistance management strategies and to provide fundamental insights into the evolutionary ecology of plant adaptation in novel extreme environments. In addition to herbicide resistance, we are interested in all aspects of the ecology and evolution of weedy plants, plant adaptation in agro-ecosystems and the application of this knowledge to weed management.

+44 (0) 1582 763 133 ext: +44 1582 938310
Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ
Past Projects
Project Leader
  • Bioactive natural product assembly using precious metal catalysis: total synthesis of phyllostictine
  • Multiple Herbicide Resistance in Grass Weeds: from Genes to AgroEcosystems
  • *An exploration of potential for delivering enhanced black-grass control through allelochemistry
  • Running to stand still: Evolution and management of drug resistance in healthcare and agriculture
  • US:Harnessing next-gen sequencing technologies for eco-evolutionary studies of herbicide resistance and weed biology
  1. Schutte BJ, Tomasek BJ, Davis AS, Andersson L, Benoit DL, Cirujeda A, Dekker J, Forcella F, Gonzalez-Andujar JL, Graziani F, Murdoch AJ, Neve P, Rasmussen IA, Sera B, Salonen J, Tei F, Torresen K, Urbano JM (2014). An investigation to enhance understanding of the stimulation of weed seedling emergence by soil disturbance. Weed Research 54(1): 1-12.
  2. Busi R, Vila-Aiub MM, Beckie HJ, Gaines TA, Goggin DE, Kaundun SS, Lacoste M, Neve P, Nissen SJ, Norsworthy JK, Renton M, Shaner DL, Tranel PJ, Wright T, Yu Q, Powles SB (2013). Herbicide resistant weeds: from research and knowledge to future needs. Evolutionary Applications 6(8): 1218-1221.
  3. Bagavathiannan MV, Norsworthy JK, Smith KL, Neve P (2013). Modelling the simultaneous evolution of resistance to ALS- and ACCase-inhibiting herbicides in Barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli) in Clearfield® rice. Weed Technology doi: 10.1614/WT-D-13-00106.1.
  4. Bagavathiannan MV, Norsworthy JK, Smith KL, Neve P (2013). Modelling the evolution of glyphosate resistance in barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli) in cotton-based production systems of the midsouthern United States. Weed Technology 27(3): 475-487.
  5. Lagator M, Vogwill T, Mead A, Colegrave N, Neve P (2013).  Herbicide mixtures at high doses slow the evolution of resistance in experimentally evolving populations of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. New Phytologist 198(3): 938-945.
  6. Busi R, Neve P, Powles SB (2012). Evolved polygenic resistance in Lolium rigidum by low dose herbicide selection within standing genetic variation. Evolutionary Applications 6(2): 231-242.
  7. Lagator M, Vogwill T, Colegrave N, Neve P (2012). Herbicide cycling has diverse effects on evolution of resistance in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Evolutionary Applications 6(2): 197-206.
  8. Bagavathiannan MV, Neve P, Smith KL, Norsworthy JK (2012). Seed production in barnyardgrass (Echinchloa crus-galli) in response to time of emergence in cotton and rice. Journal of Agricultural Science 150: 717-724.
  9. Murray JV, Lehnhoff EA, Neve P, Poggio SL, Webber SL (2012). ‘Raising the bar’: Improving the standard and utility of weed and invasive plant research. New Phytologist 196: 678-680.
  10. Vogwill T, Lagator M, Colegrave N, Neve P (2012). The experimental evolution of herbicide resistance in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii results in a positive correlation between fitness in the presence and absence of herbicides. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25(10): 1955-1964.
  11. Vila-Aiub M, Neve P, Roux F (2011). A unified approach to the estimation and interpretation of resistance costs in plants. Heredity 107, 386-394.
  12. Neve P, Smith K, Norsworthy J, Zelaya I (2011). Modelling glyphosate resistance management strategies for Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) in cotton. Weed Technology 25, 335-343.
  13. Neve P, Smith K, Norsworthy J, Zelaya I (2011). Modelling evolution and management of glyphosate resistance in Amaranthus palmeri. Weed Research 51 (2), 99-112.
  14. Neve P, Vila-Aiub M, Roux F (2009). Evolutionary-thinking in agricultural weed management. New Phytologist 184(4), 783-793.
  15. Vila-Aiub MM, Neve P, Powles SB. (2009).  Fitness costs associated with evolved herbicide resistance alleles in plants. New Phytologist (Tansley Review) 184(4), 751-767.
  16. Vila-Aiub MM, Neve P, Powles SB. (2009) Evidence for an ecological cost of enhanced herbicide metabolism in Lolium rigidum. Journal of Ecology 97(4), 772-780.
  17. Neve P (2008). Simulation modeling to understand the evolution and management of glyphosate resistance. Pest Management Science 64, 392-401.
  18. Storkey J, Semenov MA, Neve P (2008) Assessing the impact of climate change on the assembly and function of arable weed communities. Aspects of Applied Biology, 88 15 – 21.
  19. Neve P (2007).  Challenges for herbicide resistance evolution and management: 50 years after Harper. Weed Research 47, 365-369.
  20. Pedersen BP, Neve P, Andreasen C, Powles SB. (2007). Ecological fitness of a glyphosate resistant Lolium rigidum biotype: Growth, competitiveness and seed production along a competition gradient. Basic and Applied Ecology  8, 258-268.
  21. Neve P, Powles SB (2005).  High survival frequencies at low herbicide use rates in populations of Lolium rigidum result in rapid evolution of herbicide resistance. Heredity 95, 485-492.
  22. Vila-Aiub M, Neve P,  Powles SB (2005).  Resistance cost of a cytochrome P450 herbicide metabolism mechanism but not an ACCase target site mutation in a multiple resistant Lolium rigidum population. New Phytologist 167, 787-798.
  23. Vila-Aiub M, Neve P, Steadman K, Powles SB (2005).  Ecological fitness of a multiple herbicide-resistant Lolium rigidum population: dynamics of seed germination and seedling emergence in resistant and susceptible phenotypes. Journal of Applied Ecology 42, 288-298.
  24. Neve P, Powles SB (2005). Recurrent selection with reduced herbicide rates results in the rapid evolution of herbicide resistance in Lolium rigidum. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 110, 1154-1166.
  25. Neve P, Sadler J, Powles SB (2004). Multiple resistance to selective herbicides in a glyphosate resistant Lolium rigidum population from the Western Australian wheatbelt'. Weed Science 52 231 – 239.
  26. Neve P, Diggle AJ, Smith FP, Powles SB (2003). Simulating evolution of glyphosate resistance in Lolium rigidum I: Population biology of a rare resistance trait. Weed Research 43 (6), 404 – 417.
  27. Neve P, Diggle AJ, Smith FP, Powles SB (2003) Simulating evolution of glyphosate resistance in Lolium rigidum II: past, present and future glyphosate use in Australian cropping. Weed Research 43 418 – 427.
  28. Diggle AJ, Neve P, Smith FP (2003) Herbicides used in combination can reduce the probability of herbicide resistance. Weed Research 43 371-382.
  29. Diggle AJ, Neve P (2001) The population dynamics and genetics of herbicide resistance - a modeling approach, in Herbicide Resistance and World Grains, 61- 99, Editors: Powles SB, Shaner DL, Baton Rouge, USA: CRC Press.
  30. Neve P, Mortimer AM, Putwain, PD (1996). Management options for the establishment of communities of rare arable weeds  on set-aside land. Aspects of Applied Biology 44: 257-262.



PhD in Plant ecology (University of Liverpool)


BSc in Plant Science (University of Liverpool)

Measures of esteem


  • Steering Group member: Exploring weeds and their management from novel viewpoints


  • Plenary speaker - Global Herbicide Resistance Challenge Conference, Australia


  • PhD examiner - University of Gent
  • Organising Committee Member: Special international workshop on weeds and invasive plants
  • Member of European Weed Research Society Scientific Committee
  • Coordinator of the EWRS herbicide resistance working group


  • PhD examiner - University of Reading
  • PhD supervision - John Lynch
  • PhD supervision - Laura Davies
  • PhD supervision - Craig Knight


  • PhD supervision - Samuel Coe
  • PhD supervisor - Dr Mato Lagator
  • PhD supervision - Dr Helen Cockerton
  • Plenary speaker - Weed ecology, EWRS conference


  • PhD examiner - Swedish Agricultural University


  • Member of Weed Research editorial board


  • Member of European Weed Research Society


  • Member of British Ecological Society