Providing impartial honest scientific support to the fresh produce industry

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Debbie Rees: Postharvest Plant Biologist & Reader at NRI

Debbie has managed projects and carried out research for more than 25 years on the maintenance of quality and reduction of waste within food supply chains in the UK and overseas. Her areas of research are very diverse; include developing and evaluating new technologies such as Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere storage of top fruit, ethylene management, ozone for decontamination, chlorophyll fluorescence for monitoring produce quality, sprout control in potato, shelf-life extension of leafy vegetables, varietal evaluation and storage of yams and sweet potato.
Karen Thurston: Postharvest Research Assistant and Facilities Manager at NRI

Karen Thurston is a postharvest research assistant with 10 years’ research experience working with a wide range of perishable commodities.

She also has a decade of knowledge running the Postharvest facilities at the Jim mount Building at East Malling.
Richard Colgan: Postharvest Plant Physiologist and Senior Research Fellow at NRI

Richard’s research centres on identifying mechanisms to extend the storage and shelf life of fresh produce. His research spans from the identification of genes orchestrating biosynthesis and the perception of ethylene, and developing molecular markers for the marker assisted selection of new apple varieties with improved texture and eating quality, through to development of novel chemical inhibitors of the plant hormone ethylene. More recently, his work has expanded into the control of dormancy, sprout growth and sugar accumulation in potato
Ross Newham: Operations Director at NIAB EMR

Ross has over twenty years experience working within the agriculture and horticulture sectors. During his time at East Malling Research and NIAB EMR, he has developed relationships across the county and country, providing him with an in depth understanding of the industry’s needs and challenges.
Lori Fisher: Guest researcher from University of Kent

Lori is a plant physiologist with a background in abiotic stress in grasses. She has direct experience working within the leafy salad production industry. Lori’s research includes the effect of modified atmospheres on leafy crops and fruit. She is currently focused on working with the Fresh Produce industry to address the challenges faced when addressing the UK Plastics Pact.
Clare Hopson: Postharvest Research Assistant at NRI

Clare has worked within a range of disciplines, from plant breeding, entomology, and physiology to consumer research, profile testing and commercial farm.  She has extensive experience of working on a variety of top and soft fruit, vegetables, ornamental plants and flowers. Clare is particularly interested in supporting commerce through research, turning theories into practicalities that will improve industry.
Maria Carcamo de la Concepcion: Postgraduate Researcher (funded by University of Greenwich and Driscoll’s Genetics Ltd)

Maria has worked on Marker Assisted Breeding in order to select desirable quality traits in apple and pear rootstock, as well as, in cherry and raspberry cultivars as a part of the Genetics Genomic and Breeding department at NIAB EMR. Her current research focuses on the physiological and molecular mechanisms behind blueberry fruit texture and the gene expression changes that occur during post-harvest in blueberry.
Ros Fisher: Postdoctoral Researcher at NRI

Ros completed her PhD in 2020. Her studies covered the structural and biochemical factors affecting apple response to long-term low oxygen stress. She is particularly interested in dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) storage techniques. She is now working on monitoring the physiological status of potato tubers in situ during storage, working closely with Storage Control Systems Inc. on a new development of the SafePod system, the P-Pod.  Prior to her PhD studies, Ros had a career as a patent and academic literature information scientist, specialising in agrochemicals.
Dudley Farman: Analytical Chemist

Dudley Farman has worked at the University of Greenwich since 1990, experienced in the analysis and formulation of insect pheromones and related natural products as well as chemical quality assessment of horticultural produce. He has wide experience of the installation and maintenance of computer hardware and software, and of analytical equipment.
Iain Goodall: Analytical Chemist

Iain is the Head of Mass Spectrometry Support for the Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Greenwich. He provides specialist academic and practical support for faculty research groups and oversight for the mass spectrometry laboratories. Iain’s current projects include Ion-mobility mass spectrometry of aqueous aerosol analogues derived from biogenic precursors, Gas-phase analyte evolution of low-O2 crop-storage, ripening biomarkers, glyceride/ fatty acid characterisation of human skin and adipose tissue, and neutraceuticals screening of natural product extracts.