• West Mains Road, Kings Buildings, Peter Wilson Building

    EH9 3JG Edinburgh

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Research interests

- Integrated Pest Management

- Applied Plant Pathology

- Crop Protection

- Agroecology

- Farmer behaviour


I am an Applied Plant Pathologist in the Crop Protection team at SRUC Edinburgh. I lead research projects developing integrated pest management (IPM) programmes for arable crops and social science projects that aim to understand barriers and enablers to IPM adoption and identify approaches to improve information flow between stakeholders. I deliver teaching on several BSc and MSc programmes at SRUC and University of Edinburgh as well as a course for professionals to achieve the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection IPM.

 After completing my PhD in plant ecology and pathology at the John Innes Centre (UK) in 2013, I worked as a Crops Researcher for the Organic Research Centre (UK) where I was involved in large European projects on agricultural systems. In 2015, I moved to Teagasc (Ireland) where I worked to improve IPM approaches to arable farming and increase adoption of best practice at farm level.  I moved to SRUC in 2017 to take up a lectureship position in the Crop Protection team.

Other work

IPM practices are numerous and varied, which makes them difficult to quantify. I recently led a team of researchers in developing a survey and metric to measure IPM practices on arable farms (https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.5428)  and determine the barriers to further uptake of IPM practices (https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6452). The Voluntary Initiative have based their IPM Assessment Plans on this research and, since launch at the start of 2021, over 10,000 plans have been completed in the UK. IPM plans are an annual requirement of farmers operating under quality assurance schemes, such as Red Tractor and Scottish Quality Crops. This allows for the monitoring of changes in IPM practice, which provides an indication of the effectiveness of R&D and Knowledge Exchange activities related to IPM.


Module coordinator for ‘New Perspectives in Plant Protection’ in the BSc Horticulture programme and ‘Plant Protection: Integrated Approaches’ in the HND Agriculture programme. I deliver teaching on nine undergraduate and post-graduate courses including: University of Edinburgh (BSc Plant Science, MSc Sustainable Food Production), Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems (BSc Agricultural Science, MSc Global Food Security and Nutrition), SRUC (HNC/HND/BSc Agriculture, BSc Horticulture, BSc Horticulture with Plantsmanship). I also contributes teaching on a course leading to professional BASIS Crop Protection Certificate.


PhD project (2020-2026) 'Enhancing Integrated Pest Management in UK Forestry'. Joint with Forestry Research and University of Edinburgh.

PhD project (2022-2026) ‘Strategies for Control of Head disease in Spring Barley’. Joint with University of Dundee, Maltsters’ Association of Great Britain.

MSc project in Global Food Security and Nutrition (2022-2023) ‘Systematic review of the effectiveness of Integrated Pest Management in Asia’

MSc project in Organic Farming (2020-2021) 'Significant factors in effective weed control strategies for UK organic arable crops'. 

MSc project in Sustainable Plant Health (2019-2020) Investigate the role of various mixtures on disease resistance and yield of winter barley.

MSc project in Agricultural Science (2016-2018) Identifying how to improve Knowledge Transfer relating to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on Irish tillage farms. Joint with Teagasc and University College Dublin.


2023-26: PHC 2.0: Centre of Expertise for Plant Health. £3.3million. Role= Impact Officer/Knowledge Exchange lead for Agriculture.

2023: Understanding farmer / agronomist perceptions for decision making in crop health and the impact of that on key metrics such as IPM scores and pesticide usage’. Plant Health Centre Scotland funded project. £35K. Role= Principal Investigator

2022-2027: Integrated Crop Protection’: A1-2. RESAS Strategic Research Programme. ‘Development And Implementation Of Tools, Strategies, And Stakeholder Engagement To Understand Threats And Improve Disease Management In Practice’. £1.2million. Role= Principal Investigator for Work Package ‘IPM into Practice and Policy’.

2022-2027: Epidemiology of Key Pests and Diseases’: A1-1. RESAS Strategic Research Programme. ‘Understanding Of The Principal Drivers Of Pest And Disease Incidence, Severity, And Spread In Scotland, And The Factors Currently Limiting Effective Disease Control. £197K. Role= Co-investigator.

2022-23: IPM Test &Trial 2 - Environmental Land Management - Integrated Pest Management'. Collaboration with ADAS. DEFRA funded project.  £260K. Role= SRUC lead, WP lead, Co-investigator.

2022: ‘Biosecurity for plant health: better justification of precautionary measures’. Plant Health Centre funded. £30K. Role=Co-investigator

2021: ‘IPM Non Broadacre Crop Review’. Defra funded. £40K. Role=Co-investigator.

2021: 'Mapping information networks that influence farmer behaviours related to IPM adoption'. Plant Health Centre Scotland funded project. £40k. Role=Principal investigator.

2021: 'Exploring the Twitterverse: Developing novel approaches to scaling the dissemination of expert knowledge on social media platforms in Scotland'. SEFARI gateway funded project. £12k. Role=Co-investigator.

2020-2021:  'IPM Test &Trial - Environmental Land Management - Integrated Pest Management'. Collaboration with ADAS. DEFRA funded project. £130k. Role=Co-investigator.

2019-2020:  'Review of evidence on Integrated Pest Management'. DEFRA funded project. £55k. Role=Co-investigator.

2018-2019:  'Network analysis – where do people in Scotland get their plant health information?’ Plant Health Centre Scotland funded project. £13k. Role=Co-investigator.

2019-2023: 'The combined effects of tillage regime and crop variety on fungicide requirement of winter barley crops'. Mains of Loirston trust funded project. £54k. Role=Principal investigator.

2018-2022:  'Integrated Pest Management techniques with agronomy inputs to produce a profitable winter barley crop in a sustainable fashion' Mains of Loirston trust funded project. £38k. Role=Principal investigator.

2017-2021: RESAS Strategic Research Programme- WP2.1 Crop and grassland production and disease control. WP2.1.6. ‘Integrated Pest Management’. £86k. Role=Principal investigator.

2017-2021: RESAS Strategic Research Programme- WP2.3 Productive and sustainable land management. WP2.3.9 ‘Integrated Farming Systems’ £38k. WP2.3.12. ‘Uptake of best practice’ £35k.Role=Co-investigator.

2017-2021:  'Integrated Pest Management approaches to achieve a high feed value crop of winter barley through use of varietal mixtures'. Mains of Loirston trust funded project. £34k. Role=Principal investigator.

2015-2017:  'Establishing a Platform for Integrated Pest Management in Irish Crops’. Department of Agriculture Fisheries and the Marine Research Stimulus funded project. £200k. Role=Co-investigator.

2013-2016:  'Coordinating Organic plant BReeding Activities for diversity. CORE organic II funded project. €3 million. Role=Co-investigator.

2010-2014:  'Strategies for Organic and Low-input Integrated Breeding And Management' European Commision Seventh Framework (FP7) funded project. €8 million. Role=Co-investigator.

2009-2013:  'The role of genotypic diversity in stabilizing plant productivity in variable environments’ BBSRC funded project. £150k. Role=PhD student.

Education/Academic qualification

PGCert , Tertiary and Higher Education, University of the Highlands and Islands

1 Oct 20191 Aug 2020

Award Date: 1 Sept 2020

PhD, The role of genotypic diversity in stabilizing plant productivity in variable environments, John Innes Centre

1 Oct 200930 Sept 2013

Award Date: 1 Jul 2014

Master, Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity, Imperial College London

1 Oct 20081 Sept 2009

Award Date: 1 Sept 2010

Bachelor, Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia


Award Date: 1 Jul 2008

External positions

Advisor, NRI/ Univeristy of Greenwich

Jan 2021 → …

Advisor, The Voluntary Initiative

Apr 2020 → …

Expert, British Crop Production Council

Mar 2020 → …


  • S Agriculture (General)
  • Applied Plant Pathology
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Agronomy
  • Sustainable Crop Production
  • Crop Disease Management
  • Farmer behaviour


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