Carolyn Riddell is one of our ’40 Faces of Plant Pathology’
BSPP members can be found in 51 different countries, with 30% of members based in countries outside of the UK. As part of the BSPPs 40th anniversary, we asked our membership to describe some things about themselves, what plant pathology challenges they would most like to see solved, and what could improve the world of plant pathology in terms of inclusivity. Click here to return to 40 Faces Home Page.
Institution and country of residence
Forest Research, Scotland
Research technician and lab manager
Area of expertise/study
Studying various Phytophthora species and their diversity using DNA metabarcoding. Phytophthora diseases can spread unnoticed in soil, water and the air and many move long distances through the international trade in plants. I have been working on projects looking at the spread and impact of Phytophthora austrocedri in juniper and the looking at the diversity of Phytophthora species found in nurseries and the wider environment.
About your early experiences in education
I was always torn between my love of science and art. After A-levels I had to choose between the 2 and decided to go on to study zoology at Leicester University. I’ve always been fascinated by pathogens, and gradually found my way to study those in plants.
If you could solve one problem in plant pathology, what would it be?
How to stop invasive Phytophthoras in their tracks.
If you could solve one issue relating to inclusivity and diversity within the field of plant pathology what would it be?
Retaining women and minority groups into the higher levels of scientific research. We need role models to give the younger generations of researchers confidence that they can also lead exciting research.
If you weren’t a plant pathologist, what would you be?
A full time reader of books or a full time hill walker. Several parallel lives would be useful to fully pursue all my hobbies!