Award will bolster potato nematode expertise and help meet EU requirements

A new AHDB Potatoes Fellowship Award will ensure continuity of scientific skills in combating potato cyst nematodes (PCN), the levy body has said.

Dr Kim Davie - image: SASA
Dr Kim Davie - image: SASA

The three-year, £220,000 project will be co-funded by AHDB Potatoes and Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA). It will include a critical review of the current nematode management practices and a strategy for their future management, supporting growers in meeting their requirements imposed through the EU directive on PCN.

Building on her background knowledge of nematology, the seed potato regulatory system and her doctorate study on damaging potato viruses, Dr Kim Davie will be mentored in the role by SASA head of virology and zoology Dr Jon Pickup.

He said: "With very few nematologists now working in the UK, this fellowship will provide an opportunity for a new applied scientist to gain the experience required to play a pivotal role in the future of potato nematology."

AHDB Potatoes head of research Dr Mike Storey added: "The aim of these Fellowship Awards is to help retain key technical capacity within the industry. This study in particular will enable a quality new entrant to equip themselves with the research skills to continue to meet the challenges presented by PCN, arguably the biggest long term issue for the potato industry."

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