Dr. Paul Beales, Elected Board Member 2014-2016
A slightly faded, 70s coloured Kodachrome photograph captures me at 1 years old looking at the underside of a rhododendron leaf…obviously for signs of powdery mildew, or Phytophthora ramorum which were to become a big part of my life years later!
I had the privilege of studying under Dr Peter Spencer-Philips at UWE and Dr Avice Hall MBE at UH for my bachelors and doctorate respectively, their enthusiasm and encouragement stimulated my love of plants…well more specifically the diseases that affect them. Following this I began working at what was then Central Science laboratory in 1997 in lovely York and am still here many years later. My role is extremely broad, but principally involves diagnostic of plant fungal diseases of quarantine and non-quarantine nature from plants from all over the world; development and validation of novel diagnostic lab and field methods; managing an emergency response team who carry out surveys for new plant health threats to the UK (e.g. Phytophthora ramorum and Chalara fraxinea (ash dieback); some epidemiological and pathological research and training students and colleagues in plant pathology. I am also involved in a number of citizen science projects which brings the world of plant pathology into the eyes of the general public.