David B. Collinge 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.
David B. Collinge
Institution and country of residence
University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Professor of Plant Pathology
Area of expertise/study
Chief research interests: the nature of plant defence mechanisms, pathogenicity mechanisms, signal sensing and signal transduction in plants. Exploitation in disease control especially for developing countries. Nature of fungal interactions with necrotrophs, biotrophs and endophytes. Developing novel approaches for controlling diseases. Current research projects concern fungal endophytes with the aim identifying and isolating endophytic fungi and understanding the nature and role of factors such as host genotype, pathogen pressure, hormones and specialised metabolites on endophytic fungal community composition. Promising biological control agents for the wheat diseases Septoria blotch and Fusarium head blight are being characterised. Mechanisms underlying 3-way interactions studied using RNAseq.
I am also passionate about education and have developed courses in plant pathology from BSc to PhD level. International research schools for especially Nordic PhD students have been developed for the NOVA university network. I participate in outreach to the community and highschools/colleges and have just co-authored a textbook in plant pathology published by CABI.
About your early experiences in education
I was always a passionate biologist and had three excellent mentors in the biology teachers at grammar school. So I studied biology/genetics at Liverpool and moved to Newcastle Upon Tyne for my PhD.
If you could solve one problem in plant pathology, what would it be?
If you could solve one issue relating to inclusivity and diversity within the field of plant pathology what would it be?
Helping young people to chose a scientific career 🙂
If you weren’t a plant pathologist, what would you be?
Many think the answer would be ornithologist and traveller, perhaps combined.