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Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative - phase 2

A Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) initiative


  • Defra (with support of the Welsh Government)
  • ESRC
  • Forestry Commission
  • NERC
  • Scottish Government

Funding total

£7M over three years. 

Number of projects funded


Please see list of awards (PDF 2.93MB) for project details.

Please see awarded grants (XLSX 55KB) for funding details and the rank order (XLSX 21KB) of this call.

  • Population structure and natural selection in the Chalara ash dieback fungus, Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus - approx. £635K
    Led by Professor James Brown, the John Innes Centre
  • Identifying genomic resources against pests and pathogens in tree genera: a case study in Fraxinus - approx. £760K
    Led by Dr Richard Buggs, Queen Mary, University of London
  • Biological pest control of insect pests that threaten tree health - approx. £900K
    Led by Professor Tariq Butt, Swansea University
  • Promoting resilience of UK tree species to novel pests and pathogens: ecological and evolutionary solutions - approx. £1.4M
    Led by Dr Stephen Cavers, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Modelling economic impact and strategies to increase resilience against tree disease outbreaks - approx. £900K
    Led by Dr Adam Kleczkowski, University of Stirling
  • New approaches for the early detection of tree health pests and pathogens - approx. £1.9M
    Led by Dr Rick Mumford, Food & Environment Research Agency (Fera)
  • Understanding public risk concerns: an investigation into the social perception, interpretation and communication of tree health risks - approx. £615K
    Led by Dr Clive Potter, Imperial College London

Key aims

  • To generate natural and social scientific knowledge to inform the development of innovative ways of addressing current and emerging threats to trees and woodland ecosystems from pathogens and pests
  • To support the future health and resilience of trees, woodlands and their associated ecosystems
  • To facilitate collaboration between specialists in tree or forest research, and leading-edge scientists from the wider natural, biological, social, economic or other relevant research communities
  • To encourage and make best use of interdisciplinary and systems approaches, and improve the impact and integration of social research and economics in this area

Translation of knowledge and evidence from studies of pests and diseases of agricultural crops, and from ecological and environmental studies was of particular interest.

Panel members

Professor Russell Foster (Chair) - University of Oxford
Professor Jim Beynon (Deputy Chair) - University of Warwick
Dr Jeremy Phillipson (Deputy Chair) - University of Newcastle
Dr Chris Cheffings - Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Dr Michael Czukai - Syngenta Ltd
Professor Giles Foody - University of Nottingham
Ms Susan Frankel - US Department of Agriculture
Professor Nick Hanley - University of Stirling
Professor Sue Hartley - University of York
Dr Berthold Heinze - BFW Austria
Professor Tom Meagher - University of St Andrews
Professor John Mumford - Imperial College London
Dr Justin Travis - University of Aberdeen
Dr Michael Jeger - Imperial College London


Debbie Harding

tel: 01793 414653
fax: 01793 413234