Degree course set up to fill skills gap in plant pathology

Harper Adams University has addressed the skills gap in plant pathology by establishing a new postgraduate degree course in the subject.

The course means Harper Adams is believed to be the UK's only provider of a dedicated masters-level programme in plant pathology.

Simon Edwards, the university's professor of plant pathology, said: "There is a shortage of expertise in this important topic, which is a key element in the effort to ensure global food security and mitigating the effects of climate change.

"By completing the course, students will develop a range of abilities that will prepare them for an interesting and fulfilling career in an area with many opportunities."

Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Peter Mills said: "This report identifies the lack of plant scientists available to conduct vital research, but here at Harper Adams we are committed to addressing these skills gaps."

He added: "We are establishing a strong team of researchers in not only plant pathology but also key areas such as entomology, nematology and weed science, which together form the Harper Adams Centre for Integrated Pest Management."

The centre was launched last year in Brussels, Belgium, bringing together researchers from across Europe to discuss the possibility of new collaborations ahead of EU funding programme Horizon 2020.


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