Brent Barrett

Science Team Leader Forage Breeding



MSc Plant Breeding & Genetics

Research interests & activities

Brent’s research focus is cultivar development and breeding strategies in temperate forages. His main goal is to create value for New Zealand by improving the rate and efficiency of genetic gain in temperate forage species. His research is motivated by opportunities in developing marker-aided breeding and the identification and manipulation of traits in forage plants and their symbionts.
Brent joined AgResearch in 2000, and currently leads the Forage Breeding team. With team members in the Northland, Waikato, Manawatu and Canterbury regions of New Zealand, the team uses research sites throughout Australasia, the Americas and Europe to deliver underpinning research in forage breeding systems and seed production, and to develop and test candidate cultivars of forage grass, legume and herb species including ryegrass, tall fescue, white clover, red clover, chicory, plantain and lucerne with a range of commercial and research partner organisations.

Professional Memberships

  • New Zealand Grassland Association
  • Crop Science Society of America


Annicchiarico P, Barrett BA, Brummer EC, Julier B and AH Marshall (2014) Achievements and Challenges in Improving Temperate Perennial Forage Legumes. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 34:327-380 DOI:10.1080/07352689.2014.898462

Harvey BM, Widdup KH, and BA Barrett (2014) An evaluation of Lucerne for persistence under grazing in New Zealand.

Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association 76:111-116

Griffiths AG, Barrett BA, Simon D, Khan AK, Bickerstaff P, Anderson CB, Franzmayr BK, Hancock KR, and CS Jones (2013). An integrated genetic linkage map for white clover (Trifolium repens L.) with alignment to Medicago. BMC Genomics 14:388 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-14-388.

Jahufer MZZ, Dunn A, Baird I, Ford JL, Griffiths AG, Jones CS, Woodfield DR, and BA Barrett (2013) Genotypic Variation for Morphological Traits in a White Clover Mapping Population Evaluated Across Two Environments and Three Years. Crop Sci 53:460-472.

Jahufer MZZ, Ford JL, Widdup KH, Harris C, Cousins G, Ayres J, Lane LA, Hofmann RW, Ballizany WL, Mercer CF, Crush JR, Williams WM, Woodfield DR, and BA Barrett (2012) Improving white clover for Australasia. Crop and Pasture Science 63:739-745.