Inaugural Annual Lecture by Professor Nicola Spence Chief Plant Officer at DEFRA

Event Details

Professor Nicola Spence | Chief Plant Health Officer and Deputy Director Plant and Bee Health, Varieties and Seeds | Animal and Plant Health and Welfare Directorate | Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be giving a lecture here at the Garden on Sunday 12th July 2020 at 2pm.


Nicola is Defra’s Chief Plant Health Officer (CPHO) and advises ministers, industry and others about the risks posed by plant pests and diseases, and ensuring that measures are in place to manage those risks and minimise their impact, as well as leading the operational response in the event of a disease outbreak. Although plant health is a devolved matter; the CPHO co-ordinates the UK response to European and International plant health matters and takes the lead on national plant health emergency response.

Nicola is an experienced research plant pathologist and worked on virus diseases of horticultural crops in the UK and internationally for over 20 years. She is an expert in plant health and international plant trade and was previously the Head of Plant Health and then Chief Scientist at the Food and Environment Research Agency near York.

She is a President Elect of the British Society for Plant Pathology, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham, Visiting Professor at Harper Adams University and a Trustee of The Yorkshire Arboretum.

She has a BSc in Botany from the University of Durham, an MSc in Microbiology from Birkbeck College, University of London and a PhD in Plant Virology from the University of Birmingham. The subject of her PhD was Bean Common Mosaic Virus in Phaseolus beans in Africa.

Twitter @plantchief

Booking is essential.

Pre-payment is required.

Ticket prices:- £5 plus entry fee of £9 (Members pay for lecture fee only)

Our Tearoom will be open on the day for lunch and refreshments from 10am to 5.00pm and Gift Room will be open from 11am to 5.00pm.

To book a place call 01630 647237 or email