New UK chief plant health officer named

Professor Nicola Spence will take up the post of chief plant health officer at Defra from the start of next month.

Professor Nicola Spence - image:Defra
Professor Nicola Spence - image:Defra

The position involves advising ministers, industry and others about the risks posed by plant pests and diseases, and ensuring that measures are in place to manage those risks and minimise their impact, as well as leading  the operational response in the event of a disease outbreak.

Spence was previously chief executive of local enterprise body Science City York, and was previously the chief scientist at the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), where she is a Fellow.

She is also a special professor at Nottingham University, a member of court at the University of York and a Trustee of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The post, advertised last year as carrying a salary of up to £90,000 a year, was previously held by Martin Ward.


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