RHS appoint two plant disease experts

More gardeners will be able to receive world-leading information from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) after the charity recruited two plant disease experts. The scientists will work to help gardeners identify and control plant diseases.

RHS Senior Plant Pathologist Dr Matthew Cromey joins the charity after building a career in plant health in New Zealand. Matthew was formerly a plant pathologist with the New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research. His research experience spans a wide variety of plant disease issues and includes soil-borne, foliar and floral diseases.

Matthew will be responsible for leading the RHS research programme on plant diseases, developing collaborations with external research organisations, and providing advice and technical information to RHS members and the public.

Also joining the plant health team as a plant pathologist is scientist Dr Rebekah Robinson. Rebekah, who recently completed a PhD at Rothamsted Research has undertaken research placements at leading organisations including Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst and the John Innes Centre, Norwich.

Speaking about his appointment, Matthew said: ?I?m excited to work in the diverse garden environment that first attracted me to the field of plant pathology. The RHS, as the world?s foremost gardening charity, is the perfect place in which to make a contribution to the health of plants in gardens.?

Rebekah Robinson said: ?The RHS plays a key role in ensuring the continued growth and success of UK horticulture and I am really excited to now be contributing to this.?

RHS Head of Plant Health Gerard Clover said: ?These appointments underline the Society?s commitment to ensure UK gardeners receive the best advice and guidance from leading scientists.

?I?m delighted to have Matthew and Rebekah with us and look forward to working with them and harnessing their experience, depth of knowledge and cutting-edge skills, to help gardeners better understand and combat plant diseases.

?No other charity invests as much of its resources as we do in the scientific study of horticulture, and this investment in incredibly talented scientists will ensure we remain at the forefront of horticultural science,” Gerard said.

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