Association of Applied Biologists
AAB - President
Applied Mycology and Bacteriology
The Applied Mycology and Bacteriology Group has a broad range of interests and specialisms relating to the interaction of microorganisms and plants and their effects on crop production. These include detailed aspects of infection and pathogenicity but also advanced methods of taxonomy, detection of fungi and bacteria and the involvement of microorganisms in food production and spoilage. The group is keen to develop contacts with colleagues in associated areas which bring additional expertise and collaborations to widen the tools and applications of plant microbiology. Conferences are a major opportunity to achieve this and recent conferences organised by the Group include "Remote sensing in agriculture", "Mycotoxins in food production systems" and "Fungicide resistance – are we winning the battle but loosing the war?" Future conferences on specialist applied microbiology topics are planned and the Group welcomes suggestions from AAB members and non-members for scientific conferences or other related activities. In addition the Group is looking to develop education materials to support school and college teaching in these areas
Tim Pettitt
Tim works at the University of Worcester.
Group Members
David Kenyon

Currently works at the Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) headquarters on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Joined SASA in 2008 as head of Diagnostics & Molecular Biology. In addition to my management responsibilities I am involved in a number of research consortium working on storage rots of potatoes, biofumigation, potato cyst nematode, Pectobacterium & Dickeya spp., bee health, wildlife crime as well as contract research for commercial companies.


·         1997 – 2008. Team leader, broadleaved crops and diagnostics at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB). In addition to Defra and HGCA funded trial programmes we also conduct a range of GEP efficacy trials for agrochemical companies with a recognised specialism in seed-borne diseases. The groups research programme was classified under two central themes of “Disease Resistance & Pathogen Characterisation” and “Diagnostics”.

·         1994 – 1997. Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, SAC. Study of the inducible resistance reaction to Erysiphe sp. in Rhododendron.

·         1991 – 1994. PhD “The biology and pathogenic variation of Erysiphe sp. on Rhododendron” University of Strathclyde / Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

BSc, PhD. School of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University, Ellison Building, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8ST

Tel: 01912 273176



Keith Thomas

Senior lecturer in microbiology in the school of Health, Natural and Social sciences at the University of Sunderland. Manages an MSc programme Enterprise in Biosciences, a course bringing together biosciences and business and provides students with skills in entrepreurism, with the hope that students can develop for a career development beyond laboratory work.I two commercial interests in the brewing industry: Brewlab Ltd and the Darwin Brewery. Brewlab is an independent company providing training, laboratory analysis and consultancy to the brewing industry. Darwin Brewery provides beer for commercial sales predominately in North East England, producing around 3000 pints per week and also acts as a training facility for Brewlab students.  


Neil Havis
Neal Evans
Caroline Orr
Based at School of Science and Engineering, Teeside University in MIDDLESBROUGH
Julia Cooper
Jonathan West
Jon West is a senior post-doctoral plant pathologist at Rothamsted Research, with extensive experience in applied multi-disciplinary crop protection projects. He obtained a BSc in Biology from Royal Holloway, London in 1990 and a PhD in Plant Pathology at Reading in 1994. At Rothamsted, since 1997, Jon’s work has focussed on the biology and control of fungal diseases, measurement of plant disease resistance, the early detection of diseases by optical sensing and airborne-dispersal of spores. The latter is a key interest with implications for inoculum detection and forecasting, population studies, disease escape and crop tolerance. Systems currently under investigation are, fusarium ear blight and septoria leaf blotch in wheat and sclerotinia and stem canker (blackleg) of oilseed rape. Jon is a member of the executive committee of the British Aerobiology Federation, a committee member of the applied mycology and bacteriology group of the Association of Applied Biologists and an A ssociate Editor for the European Journal of Plant Pathology .
Consider joining the AAB