- Professor of Plant Pathology - University of Hertfordshire
- Diseases of arable crops (oilseed rape, wheat, barley)
- Impacts of climate change on disease severity and yield losses
- Strategies for adaptation to climate change, climate change mitigation.
Research Highlights. New insights into operation of resistance against hemibiotrophic crop pathogens (Boys et al. 2012; Stotz et al. 2014; Huang et al. 2019; Shah et al. 2020). Demonstrated that crop disease control contributes to climate change mitigation (reduced GHG from agriculture, Mahmuti et al. 2009; Fitt et al. 2011; Hughes et al. 2011; Carlton et al. 2012). Research on impacts of climate change on UK crop diseases (Evans et al. 2008; Butterworth et al. 2010; Evans et al. 2010; Barnes et al. 2010; Madgwick et al. 2011) presented at House of Lords (2010), extended to China (Zhang et. al. 2014a) and reviewed (West et al. 2010; Newbery et al. 2016). Use of quantitative PCR in analysis of 160-year Rothamsted archive samples to produce new theories about wheat septoria diseases (Bearchell et al. PNAS, 2005; Shaw et al. 2008) and with spore sampling to forecast disease epidemics (Van de Wouw et al. 2010). Web-based versions of forecasts for oilseed rape diseases (e.g. Stonard et al. 2010) widely used by UK industry (since 1996). Modelling potential spread of the phoma stem canker pathogen Leptosphaeria maculans into China (Fitt et al. 2008; Zhang et al. 2014b) influenced Chinese government quarantine policy.