Dr. Tom Pope, Reader in Entomology and Integrated Pest Management at the University, took up the role of Chair of the Council’s Pests and Beneficials Working Group at the start of April after the group met at Harper Adams for their most recent meeting.
He will now hold the position for two years, working to ensure relevant research is used to shape discussions in industry and Government around the subject of crop protection and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Dr. Pope said: “The BCPC group operates essentially as an independent expert working group on pests and beneficials, plant disease and crops – it provides an opportunity to lobby and define government policy as it relates to the work we do in the field of IPM.
“It is made up of a wide range of university research academics, agricultural companies, agronomy companies, and other representatives from industry – it is a good opportunity to meet people and to share work and research.”
Over the next 24 months, Dr. Pope will be working alongside fellow academics, scientists, and industry figures to develop the group’s work – and will be counting on a number of Harper Adams alumni among his colleagues.
The group meets three times a year for discussions on IPM and crop protection before also holding an annual review meeting. At this meeting, the group and its members share presentations on their work and research with an audience of invited figures across industry, academia, and beyond.
Dr. Pope – who has published research into aphids, cabbage stem flea beetle, vine weevils, and more over the past year – is now hoping to use his time as Chair to help influence debate across the sector.
He added: “The role of Chair rotates – a new Chair is nominated and then agreed by the group. It is hoped that this approach allows each new Chair to bring something different to the table in terms of their interests, experience, and research.
“My role as Chair will be to lead the activities of the group – the post gives me two years to shape the agenda for decisions within the group and what we might want the industry to consider for the future of integrated pest management.”