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Head of Official Seed Testing Station for Scotland
Research interests/Areas of expertise
- The provision of seed testing services and supervision of licensed seed testing stations; UK training of seed analysts and seed samplers; seed quality research and development; and strategic planning of seed testing services.
- Promotion of International method validation and proficiency testing through collaboration with the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA). I attend ISTA Meetings ensuring that Scotland’s growers are supported by the most appropriatte, robust and cost effective methodolgy to determine seed quality.
- Epidemiology and control of seed-borne pathogens.
- I joined SASA in 1979 as Seed Analyst, at the same time completed a BSc (Hons.) Life Sciences (Microbiology & Biochemistry), after a short spell as a Pesticide Usage Surveyor, I was promoted to Senior Seed Analyst: Seed Health in 1987 and to Seed Pathologist in 1990. With over 30 years of experience of seed testing I now lead the OSTS as Chief Officer and Head.
- As Quality Manger of the OSTS I ensured our successful accreditation (ISO 17025) to both ISTA and UKAS in 1998 and maintenance of those accreditations since.
- My experience of seed health testing and seed pathology led to my nomination as Chair of the ISTA Seed Health Committee from 2004-2007, of which I now participate as Vice-chair.
Environmental and other factors affecting the quality of wheat seed produced in Scotland. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2016. . 2016.
Identification of the Microdochium species causing reduced seedling emergence in spring oat and barley seed. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2016. . 2016.
Update on the effect on establishment of spring barley and oats by Microdochium nivale and M. majus. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2014. :113-118. . 2014.
The effect of Microdochium nivale and M. majus on the establishment of spring barley and oats: evidence of host preference. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2014. :187-192. . 2012.
Early counts of physiological germination (radicle emergence) relate to percentage normal seedlings and field emergence in seed lots of oil seed rape. 29th ISTA Congress Cologne Seed Symposium Abstracts. :63. . 2010.
Relationship between seedling emergence in winter wheat and levels of Microdochium nivale DNA determined by real-time PCR. BCPC Symposium Proceedings No. 83: Seed Production and Treatment in a Changing Environment. :102-107. . 2009.
Spring cereal seed infected with Microdochium nivale: cause for concern? BCPC Symposium Proceedings No. 83: Seed Production and Treatment in a Changing Environment. :95-101. . 2009.
7-022: Agar method for the detection of Microdochium nivale on Triticum spp. Annexe to Chapter 7 Seed Health Testing Methods. . 2008.
Five year review of official methods introduced in 2001 to Chapter 7, ISTA International Rules for Seed Testing. Seed Testing International: ISTA News Bulletin. (No. 133 April 2007):42-47. . 2007.
Method for the detection of Microdochium nivale on Triticum spp. ISTA Method Validation Reports 2007. :36-52. . 2007.
Modification to ISTA Method 7-013 Detection of Ustilago nuda in Hordeum vulgare. ISTA Method Validation Reports 2007. :32-35. . 2007.
Contributions on seed health testing, pathogens - seedborne infection, phytosanitary certification. The encyclopaedia of seeds: science, technology and uses. :323-326,474-475,505. . 2006.
Seed-borne diseases. The epidemiology of plant diseases. :357-372. . 2006.
A model for setting seed treatment thresholds for common bunt, Tilletia tritici. Proceedings of the BCPC International Congress, Crop Science & Technology, 31 October – 2 November 2005, Glasgow, Scotland . 3B-1:195-200. . 2005.
Development and application of a quantitative PCR test for detection of Microdochium nivale on wheat seed. BCPC International Congress – Crop Science & Technology 2005. :201-205. . 2005.
The incidence of loose smut (Ustilago nuda) in Scottish barley seed lots. Scottish Agricultural Science Agency Scientific Review 2000-2003. :13-17. . 2005.
Real-time PCR assay for quantification of Tilletia caries contamination of UK wheat seed. Plant Pathology. 53(6):741-750. . 2004.
Using seed health testing results to make balanced seed management decisions. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2004. :117-122. . 2004.
Wheat seed health & seed-borne diseases – a guide. HGCA Guides and Guidelines ; G20. . 2004.
Sampling wheat seed for seed-borne disease. HGCA Topic Sheet ; No. 72. . 2003.
Testing winter wheat for seed-borne disease. HGCA Topic Sheet ; No. 73 . . 2003.
Control of seed and soil-borne diseases: importance of seed health. HGCA R&D Conference 2002, Agronomic intelligence: the basis for profitable production. :3.1-3.11. . 2002.
Seed treatment according to need in Scotland: barley net blotch. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2002. :121-126. . 2002.
The effect of rainfall and temperature on the incidence of seed-borne Microdochium nivale in winter wheat in Scotland 1991-2000. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 2002. :133-138. . 2002.
Requirements for effective seed sampling in the application of treatment according to need strategies. BCPC Symposium Proceedings No. 76: Seed Treatment: Challenges and Opportunities. :167-172. . 2001.
Seed treatment according to need in winter wheat. BCPC Symposium Proceedings No. 76: Seed Treatment: Challenges and Opportunities. :111-116. . 2001.
The incidence of Microdochium nivale in Scottish wheat seed lots. Scottish Agricultural Science Agency Scientific Review 1997-2000. :15-16. . 2001.
The significance of seed-borne Drechslera teres (Net blotch) in Scottish spring barley. Scottish Agricultural Science Agency Scientific Review 1997-2000. :16-18. . 2001.
Quality management systems as they pertain to method standardisation. Proceedings of the 3rd International Seed Testing Association Plant Disease Committee, Seed Health Symposium. :123-126. . 1999.
Quantification of Microdochium nivale and Tilletia caries on winter wheat seed, using the PCR MIMIC technique. Proceedings of the 3rd International Seed Testing Association Plant Disease Committee, Seed Health Symposium . :86-90. . 1999.
The value of quality assurance in seed for Scottish cereals production. Proceedings of Crop Production in Northern Britain 1999. :85-90. . 1999.
Strategies for cereal seed health. Scottish Agricultural Science Agency Scientific Review 1992-1997. :8-10. . 1998.
Cereal seed health strategies in the UK. Seed health testing: progress towards the 21st century. :95-106. . 1997.
New and priority diseases in Western Europe. Seed Health testing: Progress towards the 21st century. :1-10. . 1997.
Cereal Seed Health and Seed Treatment Strategies. Home-Grown Cereals Authority Review ; No. 34. . 1996.
Seed-borne diseases in cereals: a review of three years work monitoring seed health in Scotland. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 1996. :91-96. . 1996.
Transmission of Bunt (Tilletia caries) in Winter wheat with reference to seed-borne inoculum, site and climate. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 1996. :97-102. . 1996.
Effect of pea bacterial blight (Pseudomonas syringae pv. pisi) on the yield of spring sown combining peas (Pisum sativum). Annals of Applied Biology. 126(1):61-73. . 1995.
Incidence and control of barley leaf stripe (Pyrenophora graminea) in Scottish spring barley (1987-1992). Plant Pathology. 44(4):655-661. . 1995.
Review of work carried out at the Official Seed testing Station for Scotland (OSTS) on the control of Microdochium nivale (Fusarium nivale) on winter wheat in Scotland. Proceedings of the ISTA Pre-Congress Seminar on Seed Pathology . :25-38. . 1995.
The challenge of seed-borne disease. Proceedings of the Fifth Cereals R&D Conference. :8.1-8.18. . 1995.
Incidence and control of organomercury resistant Pyrenophora graminea in Scottish spring barley 1988-1992. Fungicide Resistance. :379-382. . 1994.
Quality aspects of Scottish farm-saved spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Proceedings of the 3rd Congress of the European Society of Agronomy. :590-591. . 1994.
Strategies for cereal seed treatment. Seed Treatment: Progress and Prospects. :17-126. . 1994.
A review of seed-borne pathogens of cereals in the post-mercury period. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 1993. :17-24. . 1993.
Sampling and testing barley seed for Pyrenophora graminea infection. Proceedings of the first International Seed Testing Association Plant Disease Committee Symposium on Seed Health. :99-105. . 1993.
Survey of Fusarium species infecting winter wheat in England, Wales and Scotland, 1989 &1990. Home-Grown Cereals Authority Project Report ; No. 39. . 1991.
Assessing the germination potential of Monographella nivalis infected wheat seed. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 1990. :101-108. . 1990.
Incidence of loose smut in Scottish barley 1986-1988. Proceedings Crop Protection in Northern Britain 1990. :135-138. . 1990.
Pesticide usage in animal and poultry feed premises 1985-86, Survey Report 66. Pesticide usage in Scotland : grain storage premises 1982 - 86. :21-26. . 1988.
Pesticide usage in maltings 1985-86, Survey Report 67. Pesticide usage in Scotland : grain storage premises 1982 - 86. :27-33. . 1988.