UK: Yorkshire Technology Centre invests in new staff

A leading agriculture and horticulture technology transfer centre has strengthened its team with the creation of several new posts.
Selby based Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC) has invested in the new recruits to satisfy increased demand for its scientific services and in preparation for the latest round of Agri-Tech Catalyst funding.
STC Ltd Board member Martin Evans said: "It's a very exciting time for the new starters to be joining STC as we embark on some groundbreaking research projects and prepare for future growth."

The new members of the team include Dr David George, who replaces Dr Pat Croft to lead the Entomology Department.

As Business Manager for Entomology, Dr George manages and assists with commercially and publicly funded projects with a primary focus on pest and beneficial insects.

New science team members at STC. From right, Mr Rhydian Beynon-Davies, Dr Jennifer Banfield-Zanin, Dr David George & Mr Gavin Milson with Dr Martin McPherson, who heads up the Science team at STC

Dr George, who is also a Fellow at Northumbria University, said: "Working at STC presents an opportunity to conduct highly applied research with immediate industry impact." He is joined by Dr Jennifer Banfield-Zanin, as a Trainee Project Manager in Entomology.

Rhydian Beynon-Davies, one of HDC's former PhD students, has joined the Photobiology Department to work on the LED4CROPS research projects, investigating crop responses to light.

He said: "Stockbridge has a great potential with the LED4CROPS facility in testing plant responses to different LED spectrums and in the promotion of enclosed urban farming systems.

"Sustainable technologies such as these developed at Stockbridge have the power to fundamentally alter the way we grow plants for food and other uses."

Adam Ormerod joined the Plant Pathology Department as a Trainee Project Manager having studied Arboriculture at Askham Bryan College.

In addition to providing technical support to various projects Adam is leading the HDC-funded MOPS (Managing Ornamental Plants Sustainably) project this year.

"Stockbridge attracted me due to its excellent reputation for collaborative work with growers across the horticultural industry," Mr Ormerod said.

Technician Gavin Milson has joined the Precision Farming Department to work alongside Dr Chantel Davies. Dr Claire Burns has also joined the Plant Pathology Department to cover Kirsty Wright's maternity leave and to further strengthen the group's molecular biology expertise and to aid diagnostics work.

STC Ltd CEO Graham Ward OBE said: "The appointments will allow us to build on our pioneering LED4CROPS work and develop the SATS4CROPS research project that we are conducting with Cranfield University.

"STC has just raised the roof of one of its glasshouses to create a new research facility to examine the effects of different LED lights on long season crops such as tomato and will begin Europe's first large scale trial of its type next month."

Stockbridge Technology Centre is an independent, not for profit organisation that is wholly owned by the UK horticultural industry and is a centre of excellence in technology transfer to agriculture and horticulture.

For more information
Stockbridge Technology Centre
T: 01757 268275

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