Women In Food & Farming – June Broadcast with Guest Speaker Prof. Dawn Arnold, Research Director at Harper Adams University.


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In our May Broadcast, we are delighted to have chat with Professor Dawn Arnold of Harper Adams University (HAU), where will be discussing How Harper Adams University Connects & Creates Long Term Benefits for Our Industry Sectors.

Dawn is Professor of Molecular Plant Pathology and Research Director of HAU. She has over 25 years’ experience working with bacterial pathogens and their interaction with their hosts, pea and bean. Her work has involved molecular genetic studies of the genes responsible for controlling host specificity and pathogenesis. Her main area of focus is specifically investigating the role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of pathogenicity.

Other areas of work include investigations into tree pathogens, in particular the bacteria that are associated with Acute Oak Decline in the UK. Her work is funded by BBSRC and charities such as Woodland Heritage. She was President of the British Society for Plant Pathology 2019, is a senior editor of Plant Pathology journal and an academic editor for PLoS One (until 2020). She serves on BBSRC Committee B from 2018. She regular publishes in a range of international journals and is invited as a keynote speaker a number of international and national conferences.

Her teaching includes plant pathology, genetics, genomics and molecular biology techniques. At HAU she leads and supports the development of research in many areas of the university strategic research with a focus around ‘Net Zero’ in agriculture and food supply chains in concert with the wider requirements for ‘sustainable agriculture’ (e.g. rural economies, social justice, animal welfare, nutrient cycling and pollution).

She also leads the research pillar of The School of Sustainable Food and Farming at HAU which is supported by our steering partners: Morrisons, McDonalds UK & Ireland and National Farmers Union.

Women in Food and Farming is a group of professional women in food, agriculture and the land-based industries at all stages of their careers, who get together to discuss business issues, support each other via mentorship and advice, and help generate networks of contacts that might be useful to themselves and their businesses.

Founded in 2011 by Christine Tacon CBE, the group started back in 2011 with just five women and has now grown to over 500 members. Christine is known to many as the first Grocery Code Adjudicator and head of the Co-op’s farming business, she has just been appointed Chair of Assured Food Standards which operates the Red Tractor Assurance scheme amongst other roles.

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