BSPP News Autumn 2002 - Online Edition

The Newsletter of the British Society for Plant Pathology
Number 43, Autumn 2002 

Travel Bursaries : Sept 2001 - Sept 2002

The following members of BSPP were awarded Travel Bursaries between September 2001 and September 2002.

Oliver Knox, University of Aberdeen, for the International Society for Microbial Ecology conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 
Sarah Green, Forest Research, Roslin, for the 10th International Root and Butt Rot Conference in Quebec, Canada.
Tom Locke, ADAS, and Dmitra Gkilpathi, IACR Rothamsted, for the 8th International Verticillium Symposium in Cordoba, Spain.
Govind Rao, Sugar Cane Research Station, India, for the Sugarcane Technology Conference in Brisbane, Australia.
Radhika Desikan, University of the West of England, for the Keystone Syposium on Specificity and Crosstalk in Plant Signal Transduction, held at Tahoe City, USA.
Helen Grogan, HRI Wellesbourne, for the 4th Conference on Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products at Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Roger Jones, Agriculture Western Australia, for the 8th International Virus Epidemiology Symposium at Aschersleben, Germany.
Yongju Huang, IACR Rothamsted, for the 13th Crucifer Genetics Workshop at the University of California, Davis, USA.
John Elphinstone, CSL, for the 3rd International Bacterial Wilt Symposium at White River, South Africa.
Bernard Slippers, University of Pretoria, Gareth W Griffith, University of Wales Aberystwyth, and Heino Konrad, Institute of Forest Entomology, Forest Pathology and Forest Protection, Vienna, for the 7th International Mycological Congress in Oslo, Norway.
Alex Hilton, SAC, and Daniel Cullen, SCRI, and Louise Cooke, Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Northern Ireland, for the 15th Triennial Conference of the European Association for Potato Research in Hamburg, Germany.
Louise Cooke, Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Northern Ireland, Ruth Solomon-Blackburn, SCRI, and Diana Earnshaw, University of Wales Bangor, for the Conference of the Global Initiative on Late Blight in Hamburg, Germany.
Joana Vicente, HRI Wellesbourne, Robert Jackson, University of Cambridge, and Dmitris Tsaltas, Imperial College at Wye, for the 6th International Conference on Pseudomonas syringae in Maratea, Italy.
Jack Chipili, HRI Wellesbourne, for the BSPP Conference on Plant Pathology and Global Food Security, at Imperial College, London.
Andrea Chini, University of Edinburgh, for the European Foundation for Plant Pathology Conference in Prague, Czech Republic.
Fiona Doohan, University College Dublin, and Roland Fox, University of Reading, for the 9th International Fusarium Workshop in Australia.
Polyvios Kryitsis, SAC, for the BCPC Conference - Pests and Diseases, in Brighton.

In addition, the following members have been awarded grants to enable them to attend the International Congress of Plant Pathology in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2003:

Jackie Freeman, IACR Rothamsted
Steve Roberts, Horticulture Research International
N Magan, Cranfield University
John Lucas, IACR Rothamsted
Neil Paveley, ADAS
Maria Holeva, SCRI
Graham Jellis, HGCA
Mathew Back, Harper Adams University College
Chris Steel, Charles Sturt University, Australia
Simon Archer, Imperial College
Tijs Gilles, Horticulture Research International
Joan Webber, Forest Research
Ana Perez Sierra, RHS
Matthew Dickinson, University of Nottingham
David Cooke, SCRI
Laurence Madden, Ohio State University
Gary Foster, University of Bristol
Peter Spencer-Phillips, University of the West of England
Chris Gilligan, Cambridge University
Avice Hall, University of Hertfordshire
Richard Strange, University College London
Stuart Wale, SAC Aberdeen
Ferenc Viranyi, Godollo University of Agricultural Sciences, Hungary
Marc Cubeta, North Carolina
Temitope Aiyere, University College London
Tim O'Neill, ADAS
Roger Hull, John Innes Centre
Kelvin Hughes, CSL
Nicola Spence, Horticulture Research International
John Clarkson, Horticulture Research International
Nigel Hardwick, CSL
Emily Clewes, Horticulture Research International
Philip Swarbrick, University of Sheffield
Claire Sansford, CSL
Keith Holmes, CABI Bioscience
Armando Bergamin Filho, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil
Alison Lees, SCRI
D G Hughes, University of Edinburgh
Pham Van Du Cuu, Long Rice Delta Research Institute, Vietnam
Richard Shattock, University of Wales, Bangor
John Whipps, Horticulture Research International
Audrey Litterick, SAC Aberdeen
Rob Harling, SAC Edinburgh
R A Collier, Dept Agriculture and Fisheries, Jersey
Amanda Bennet, Horticulture Research International
N W Schaad, USDA


Annual Review Meeting 2002

The 2002 Presidential Meeting was held in July at Imperial College, London. The Annual Meeting, reporting on the activities of the BSPP in 2001, was held at the start of the meeting. Members of the Board attending were the President: Roger Plumb, the President-Elect: John Lucas, the Treasurer: Simon Archer, the Secretary: Avice Hall, the Programme Secretary: Matt Dickinson, Board Members: Lesley Boyd, Jane Chard, John Clarkson and Mark Holderness, the Senior Editors of Plant Pathology: Richard Shattock and Molecular Plant Pathology: Gary Foster. 

A summary of the Annual Reports, which appeared in the summer 2002 edition of the Newsletter (issue 42) was given by those BSPP Board Members attending. Roger Plumb, as President-Elect in 2001, was also chair of the Travel Committee. Roger kicked off with a warm welcome to all BSPP members attending. He made the point that while the Annual Meeting gives members the opportunity to voice opinions to the Board, comments are welcome from members at any time of the year. Roger then gave an overview of the popularity of the Travel Fund. Applications to the fund had increased in 2001, with almost 7% of members applying for grants. Dr Stuart Wale is now responsible for the Travel Fund and all applications in 2002 should be directed to Stuart.

Simon Archer as Treasurer reported on the financial position of the Society. The management accounts revealed a small surplus of income over expenditure. Although income remained buoyant, the cost of running the Society continues to increase. The Society also incurred the substantial cost of launching its new journal, Molecular Plant Pathology, and several further years of declining losses are expected before break-even in 2005. 

The Programme Secretary for 2001, Mark Hocart, finished his 5 year term of office in December 2001. Mark did an amazing job during that time, and deepest thanks were expressed on behalf of the Board by Roger Plumb. Mark was not at the meeting, but our new Programme Secretary, Matt Dickinson, who did a brilliant job organising this year's Presidential Meeting, was. The Programme Secretary is always receptive to ideas for short, 1 to 2 day meetings and Matt asked that ideas be sent to him.

 The Membership Secretary for 2001, Kevin O'Donnell also came to the end of his 5 year term in office in December 2001. Kevin had worked hard to create a database for easy storage and access of members' information, and had seen the membership of the society increase during his term in office. Warm thanks were expressed by Roger on behalf of the Board. The membership currently stands at around 800 individuals.

I am sad to report that Emily Taylor, who replaced Kevin as Membership Secretary in 2002 has resigned from this position. The Society is now looking for a replacement for Emily. An emergency Board Meeting was held after the Annual Meeting to discuss a short-term solution and suggest possible candidates for Membership Secretary.

Avice Hall, the BSPP Secretary, gave a brief report on the Society and the changes in officers. Avice also mentioned the efforts being made by the Institute of Biology to form an association of Affiliated Societies, a grouping that the BSPP has for the present decided to remain independent of. 

Richard Shattock, Senior Editor of Plant Pathology, reported that the citation index for the journal was now over 1, an achievement resulting from Richard's hard work and efforts to improve the standing of the journal.

Claire Sansford, Senior Editor of New Disease Reports was unable to attend the meeting. The response to this new journal has exceeded all expectations, with submission rates having increased by over 100% in 2001 compared to 2000. 

Gary Foster, Senior Editor of Molecular Plant Pathology reported on the success of the journal to date. The journal already has a high international profile, and the high standard of publications is reflected by the papers that subsequently cite MPP publications.

The BSPP Newsletter has grown into a much loved, amusing and member-friendly publication under the editorship of James Brown. James's term of office comes to an end in December 2002 and we are currently at a loss to find an equal to replace him. Any suggestions would be much welcomed. 

John Clarkson reported on the new look and much improved interactive BSPPWeb. 

The Publicity Committee, Ian Toth and Jane Chard, have been exceptional in their efforts to create a new image for BSPP and increase the Society's profile in the science community. Both Ian and Jane's term as members of the Board comes to an end in 2002 and their absence will be greatly felt.

The increased awareness of the BSPP was also reflected in the number of applications received by the Education Committee (Lesley Boyd, Alison Lees and John Lucas) for the Undergraduate Vacation Bursary scheme.

 In general the Society is flourishing. Plant pathologists appear to be more aware of the presence and activities of the Society, a consequence I am sure of the much, improved BSPPWeb and the efforts of the Publicity Committee over the past few years. The Society's established journal, Plant Pathology, is increasing in strength, while New Disease Reports and Molecular Plant Pathology are on course to reach great heights.

Lesley Boyd


BSPP Officers and Board Members 

Several changes in the membership of BSPP's Board have either happened or are imminent. The Membership Secretary, Dr Emily Taylor, left NIAB in Cambridge and changed jobs in July, and so is unable to continue as BSPP's membership secretary. We thank Emily for her contribution to the Society during her period of office.

The Board has decided to alter the role of the Membership Secretary significantly. In future, this post will be concerned with strategic issues of recruitment, publicity and other general issues concerned with membership.  As at present, it will be for five years. The Membership Secretary will be assisted by a Membership Database Administator who will take care of the routine work of handling membership applications, renewals, etc. Enquiries from members who may be interested in the post of Membership Secretary are warmly welcomed. Please contact either Avice Hall or the President, Professor Roger Plumb.

 Diane Brown has been appointed to the new post of Membership Database Administrator. Membership application forms should be sent to her at: 57 Heath Road, Hockering, DEREHAM, Norfolk, NR20 3JA, England. Other enquiries should be addressed to the Secretary of BSPP, Dr Avice Hall until a new Membership Secretary is appointed.

Only one nomination for Vice-President was received, that of Professor Phil Russell. He is therefore duly elected unopposed and will serve as Vice-President in 2003, President-Elect in 2004 and President in 2005. Professor Russell worked for Aventis (and for the same company under its many previous names!) until the closure of its site at Great Chesterford. He is also a Special Professor at Nottingham University.

An election for three members of the Board will take place in October and voting papers will be circulated shortly. The following five candidates have been nominated: Dawn Arnold (University of the West of England), Vivian Blok (Scottish Crop Research Institute), Fiona Doohan (University College Dublin), Tijs Gilles (Horticulture Research International) and Rob Harling (Scottish Agricultural College).

It is hoped that announcements of a new Newsletter Editor to serve from 1st January 2003 and a new Treasurer to serve from 1st January 2004 (and to understudy the present Treasurer, Dr Simon Archer in the meantime) will be made shortly.