Royal Horticultural Society Appoints First ever Principal Scientist – Plant Health

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Role recognises increased threat from pests and diseases

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has appointed Gerard Clover as its first Principal Scientist with responsibility for plant health.

The new post has been created to bring together the Society’s expertise on plant health issues to more effectively address gardeners’ concerns about the threat posed by pests and diseases. A major aspect of Gerard’s role will be the co-ordination of RHS activity to identify and control new pests and diseases with that of other organisations undertaking similar work.

Gerard, who formerly managed the Plant Health & Environmental Laboratory in New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries, began work at RHS Garden Wisley this month.

With 20 years of experience in scientific research in New Zealand and the UK, including heading a team of 45 people identifying and managing plant pests and diseases, and providing scientific services to the New Zealand and UK governments, Gerard’s recruitment is a real coup for the RHS.

Speaking about his appointment Gerard said: “I’m tremendously excited about the challenge of working for the world’s foremost gardening charity. I believe my experience, coupled with the skills of the hugely talented team at the RHS, will mean that we will be able to help even more gardeners identify and control garden pests.”

RHS Head of Science Alistair Griffiths said: “Recent threats such as Ash dieback and the findings of the government’s Tree Health and Plant Biodiversity Expert Task Force report graphically highlight the threat posed to UK horticulture, gardens and the wider environment by pests and diseases.

“This new role highlights the RHS’s commitment to harnessing world-leading knowledge to provide authoritative and up-to-date scientific advice to advance plant health management in our gardens.”
 

-Ends-

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Garfield Myrie in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3060 or email garfieldmyrie@rhs.org.uk

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 209 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

 


 

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262