The CHAP Board

Our board members bring a wealth of experience and passion for farming to CHAP. From farmers to academics, entrepreneurs to environmentalists, CHAP is strengthened by their depth of knowledge on a wide variety of specialties, including scientific research, agronomy, commercial sales, business development, finance and industry. Click on the images to find out more….

Peter has extensive business leadership experience as CEO, MD & NED, creating enterprise value across a range of complex FMCG Brand & Private Label markets in Food & Drink, Manufacturing & Retail, Bio-Tech & Agri-Tech. He is currently CEO of Genius Foods and was previously divisional MD of Samworth Brothers and holds several NED positions in the Agri-Tech/Produce sector. Expert in transformational turnarounds and creation growth and valuation strategies through organisational alignment and ingenuity. He is also passionate about building business cultures committed to people and has served on the Boards of BITC Cares Charities dedicated to creating opportunities for disadvantaged young people through education and personal development. Peter holds an MBA and BSc(Hons) & PhD in Epigenetics & Microbiology and has published on the importance of nutrition to improve health & wellness in society. As Chairman of CHAP, he is committed to the vital function of science, technology and collaborative innovation to transform UK agriculture and sustainable food production.

Peter Quinn


Fraser has more than 30 years’ commercial experience (sales, marketing, and business and market development) in the Bioscience industry. He has lived and worked in the UK, Germany and the US in a variety of sectors that included President of Hoefer Pharmacia, San Francisco, Vice-President of Service, Americas for Amersham Biosciences and Global GM for Scientific Asset Services for GE Healthcare, Life Science Division. Fraser has taken leadership roles as Managing Director of BioCity Scotland and latterly as Managing Director of James Hutton Limited where the emphasis has been very much on the interface of academia, industry and government to drive industry lead Commercialisation of IP by building a Professional Services delivery approach.

Fraser Black

Chief Executive Officer

Hannah is an agri-tech entrepreneur. Her work with plant breeders and seed producers takes her across five continents.  She is passionate about bringing change to agriculture through entrepreneurship, and mentors several start-ups.  Hannah spent her early career at Tesco and Tesco.com during the dot-com boom, later transitioning to strategy consulting. She holds an MA (Oxon, double first) and an MBA from Stanford. Hannah holds a private pilot's licence and loves to fly light aircraft when she gets the chance.

Hannah Senior

Non-executive Director

Jonathan has wide international experience as a Finance Director and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He was previously Group Finance Director of FTSE 250 business Coats plc and, in the not-for-profit sector, was CFO of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), where he became interested in the sustainability of the food production and distribution system. He is also currently a Trustee of the Internet Watch Foundation, where he chairs the Audit Committee and is Treasurer of the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

Jonathan Lea

Non-executive Director

Martin has been involved in the horticultural sector at a senior level for more than 35 years. He has succeeded in many different environments and is capable of taking on new roles which require lateral thinking, innovative answers and team leadership. Experienced at the forefront of the industry in technical, management and executive positions, he is also one of the few people to be awarded the M. Hort (RHS) as well as being one of the youngest. He has managed farming operations all over the world at the same time as managing multiple production sites in the UK. More recently, Martin has re-introduced baby Chantenay carrots, as well as new strains of purple and white Chantenay carrots. He has also been involved as a director of Stockbridge Technology Centre and the HDC/AHDB for many years and is currently on the board of several other organisations. As well as being a qualified practitioner of agronomy, he is a qualified teacher, lectures part time and holds a MBA.

Martin Evans

Member Director

The CHAP team

CHAP staff are based around the UK: our head office is at York Science Park, in York, and we have offices in Dundee, Harpenden, Warwick Cranfield and Egham. We are all committed to fulfilling the CHAP mission to build networks of leading scientists, farmers, advisors, innovators and businesses to understand industry priorities, develop innovative solutions and translate them into the field to ensure market adoption. Through this we aim to achieve our vision to advance crop productivity for a sustainable future. Click on the images to find out more….

Ruth has a PhD in Plant Biology and has held research posts both nationally and internationally. She left the bench to pursue a career in science strategy, policy and communication initially with GARNet and then established the UK Plant Sciences Federation and was awarded the Society of Biology Presidents Medal for support of the UK Plant Sciences Community. Ruth has held several leadership roles including Executive Director of the Global Plant Council, where she coordinated the activities of 28 member national, regional and international plant, crop and soil societies to facilitate the development of plant science for global challenges When not working with our partners and wider community to dream up new and innovative projects Ruth can usually be found in Wales walking the dog, working hard in the garden or out enjoying the open road.

Dr Ruth Bastow

Innovation Director

Harry has a background in soil science and geomicrobiology, with a PhD in Environmental Science from The University of Sheffield. He has worked in postdoctoral and scientific coordination roles for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and The University of Sheffield, focusing on soil microaggregate structure and landscape-scale environmental observation systems. Before joining CHAP he spent three years working as a Knowledge Exchange Fellow for the N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme, building and leading an innovation cluster on Urban & Controlled Environment Agriculture and delivering knowledge exchange focused on soil health and sustainable agriculture. Harry is an expert in cryoconite and spent his PhD traversing glaciers in Svalbard; he also plays badminton competitively and enjoys walking in the Peak District.

Dr Harry Langford

Innovation Network Lead

Aurélie, a knowledge exchange and business development professional, has more than 10 years’ experience engaging and working with UK and international organisations and stakeholders to deliver innovation in the agrifood sector. A molecular plant biologist by background, Aurélie has gained a broad view on innovation and  a cross-cutting R&D knowledge across an array of industry sectors and technologies through prior roles at Agrimetrics, the Biorenewables Development Centre and the Knowledge Transfer Network. Aurelie has also previously worked at CHAP and is thrilled to be back to work on the Gelponics project. Aurélie enjoys independent travel and the outdoors. A keen Capoeira practitioner (Brazilian Martial Art), she is a co-founder of the non-profit ‘Capoeira in York Community’, where she assists teaching children's classes.

Dr Aurélie Bovi

Innovation Sector Lead

Andy began his career working on insect-plant interactions with roles at Wageningen, University of Aberdeen and completed his PhD at the University of Hertfordshire. He joined the Scottish Agricultural College (now SRUC) as an applied crop entomologist, adopting nematodes and slugs along the way. Latterly as  Applied Practice Team Lead at SRUC, he straddled research, education, consultancy, and knowledge exchange particularly focusing on integrated pest management and soil health. Andy, who recently worked in the commercial sector developing and evaluating organic soil amendments to improve soil and crop health, will oversee CHAP’s five Innovation Sector Leads, responsible for both grant and commercial projects. He supports Welsh rugby and Swansea City, and enjoys cooking and being taken for a walk by his working cocker spaniel (and his partner).

Dr Andy Evans

Sector Team Lead

Richard began his career at the Food and Environment Research Agency where he coordinated a wide range of projects dealing with aspects of pesticide application and exposure, working closely with southern European countries. This involved EU and EFSA funded projects dealing with models and risk assessments for aggregate and cumulative exposure. At Fera he was also involved with training related to the Sustainable Use Directive particularly with protected crops in areas such as Almería, which has seen rapid changes to Integrated Pest Management and biological control. After a short period working for a multinational CRO Richard joined CHAP in 2018. As a Spanish speaker he has been involved with post graduate teaching in Latin America and Spain. Richard grew up on the family mixed arable beef farm in Co. Durham and has a keen interest in aviation, particularly as an Avro Vulcan crashed on the family farm in 1971.

Richard Glass

Innovation Sector Lead

Amy is based in York but lives by the sea in Mid-wales. She has spent the past six years working as lead technician with the grass breeding team at IBERS, Aberystwyth University, breeding globally renowned grass varieties for the forage industry. Specialising in grass pathology within a UK climate and sustainable grassland systems, she has a keen interest in biological controls and alternatives to chemical pesticides. As well as taking on the role of Sector Lead at CHAP and raising a family (both full-time jobs), Amy is currently completing her MRes in the identification and utilisation of fungal endophytes in perennial ryegrass. Amy started her career in a completely different industry, studying costume construction, producing work for film, theatre, circus and festival performers. And she can still be found making the occasional wedding dress or fancy dress outfit.

Amy Farrington

Innovation Sector Lead

Réka is based at Warwick University but lives in Evesham, near the beautiful Cotswolds. A bioengineer with a PhD in chemistry from Budapest University of Technology (Hungary), she has 20 years’ experience across academia and industry, including CSIRO Plant Industry, EU JRC IRMM  and Campden BRI. Réka has worked on projects in cereal science, food allergen detection, proteomics, food and protein analytics, food biosciences and food flavour development.  She also has commercial experience working with international clients within the agrifood, food and drink industry. Reka likes challenging tasks, multi-disciplinary and innovative projects and is looking forward to helping CHAP work to build a sustainable agrifood system. Réka likes being outdoors, spontaneous travelling and has enjoyed rock climbing in Hungary and Australia. She practices martial arts and loves cooking, baking and spending time with her family.

Dr Réka Haraszi

Innovation Sector Lead

Victoria has a PhD in Life Sciences from the University of Warwick, where she researched the interaction of entomopathogenic fungi metabolites with insects and how they could be used in integrated pest management. She then worked at the Natural Resources Institute where she primarily investigated natural enemies of insect pests in East Africa. In her current role with CHAP, Victoria will be based at our Warwick office, where she will focus on using our genomic and molecular diagnostic capabilities. Victoria really enjoys travelling and the most exciting thing she has done during her travels is skydiving in Australia - although she was tricked into doing it by her partner!

Dr Victoria Nash-Woolley

Innovation Sector Lead

Alex joins CHAP's head office in York to build its network of academic and research partners, support research projects, horizon scan for new technologies, and to be a key contact for scientific/technical enquiries. With a background in Agriculture, spanning work on farms, in industry, and in crop protection R&D roles, he understands the problems that face the sector and potential solutions. This experience is underpinned by his BSc (Hons.) in Crop Management and PhD from Harper Adams University. He has also worked at the University of Warwick on Innovate UK and AHDB sponsored projects examining novel disease management in vegetable crops. Alex is fuelled by his passion for translating research from the laboratory to the field and looks forward to driving innovation with CHAP partners to feed the future. Originally from Yorkshire, Alex looks forward to returning to York with his partner and collection of more than 40 houseplants.

Dr Alex McCormack

Innovation Sector Lead

Kat has a PhD in grassland ecology and soil nutrient dynamics, and has worked on a series of postdoctoral projects including monitoring and modelling species composition, soil properties and hydrology of grasslands. She has experience in biodiversity monitoring, science outreach, and engagement for nature recovery restoration and creation projects for landowners. Prior to joining CHAP she spent four years at Fera Science as Science Strategy Lead, developing industry-policy-academic partnerships to deliver impactful applied science for both the commercial and public sector. Outside of work, Kat is a qualified yoga teacher and Mum of two who enjoys travel and outdoor life.

Dr Katherine Wotherspoon

Strategic Research Development Coordinator

Jamila brings her science and engineering expertise to her role as Technical Research Associate at CHAP. She obtained her Masters in Chemical Engineering with Business from the University of Birmingham. After graduating, she worked for several years as a Science Communicator, delivering hands-on STEM workshops in schools across the UK and abroad. Jamila has unique experience in industrial hemp from her PhD research with Aberystwyth University. She is committed to driving innovation in the Agri-Tech sector and received Innovate UK's Young Innovators Award. When she's not working, she's enjoying the Welsh countryside with her family.

Dr Jamila La Malfa-Donaldson

Technical Research Associate

Emma earned her master’s degree in Crop Improvement from the University of Nottingham in 2018 and continued studying towards a Ph.D. in collaboration with Newcastle University and Fera Science Ltd., focused on molecular diagnostics for plant pathogens and soil microbiomes. Prior to joining CHAP, Emma was working in open innovation consultancy, aiding Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies with functions such as horizon scanning, technology scouting, and landscape analysis. Outside of work, Emma is a competitive badminton player and avid podcast listener.

Emma Chapelhow

Open Innovation Programme Coordinator

Sofia has a PhD from Rothamsted Research in pesticide resistance and molecular biology, working closely with Bayer Animal Health. Taking that experience and her passion for scientific communication, Sofia worked at The University of Bradford as an academic and project leader focusing on widening participation and STEM outreach and engagement. In her spare time, Sofia enjoys hiking and scrambling in the UK and abroad, and loves to read as part of her book club.

Dr Sofia Hirscher

Scientific Support and Content Coordinator

Emily specialises in biotechnology and crop physiology and has seven years’ experience researching abiotic stress resilience in cereals. She gained her PhD from the University of Sheffield, where she worked with Limagrain to generate drought tolerant maize lines using gene-editing. Following this, her postdoctoral project focused on boosting carbon sequestration in rice. Emily is excited to join CHAP as a Technical Research Associate to help drive innovation towards a climate-smart agri-food system. Outside of work, Emily makes use of her problem-solving skills by playing escape rooms and board games, and also enjoys hiking with her spaniel and attending music festivals.

Dr Emily Harrison

Innovation Technical Research Associate

As a farmer’s daughter from Aberdeenshire, Dr Jenna Ross OBE has a passion for driving innovation in agriculture. Jenna holds a PhD in Environmental Science, as well as an MBA and Executive Education in Global Business from Harvard Business School, and has more than 15 years’ experience delivering high impact international projects across Europe, North America, Asia, Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. She has completed a Nuffield Farming Scholarship, winning the Nuffield HSBC Silver Salver and Greener Future Awards, and is the immediate past Chair of Nuffield Scotland and current Trustee on the board. Jenna is also an Honorary Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, Chartered Manager and Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, Associate of CARAS, founding board member of the Africa Scotland Business Network and Co-Chair of the IOBC Slug & Snails Group. Jenna is highly published and has won an array of business and agricultural awards. She is also passionate about inspiring the next generation of agriculturalists through her work as a STEM ambassador and LANTRA industry Champion. Jenna received an OBE in Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II final honours list in June 2022 as part of the Jubilee celebrations in recognition for her work in agriculture and science. She was also named as a Coronation Champion, an award launched by the Royal Voluntary Service, alongside Her Majesty The Queen Consort, to celebrate the work of extraordinary volunteers across the UK in His Majesty The King’s Coronation year in 2023. As CHAP’s Senior International Business Development Manager, Jenna works to expand CHAP’s global reach by leading its international development of high impact game changing AgriTech projects. Jenna is a self-proclaimed slug enthusiast with a passion for international travel!

Dr Jenna Ross OBE

Senior International Business Development Manager

Linsey has a strong commercial background (technical services, sales, marketing, business development) with experience throughout the Life Science Sector, leaving the laboratory bench over 30 years ago. Linsey has worked for Amersham International plc, GE Healthcare and set up her own company in 2005, LLC Associates Limited, to provide commercial resource to the Life Science Industry. Linsey holds a science degree and an MBA. Linsey loves running with her dogs, swimming and has completed three marathons.

Linsey Cresswell

Commercial Director

Experienced in agricultural and environmental research, technology transfer, and commercialisation, Geoff will help bring CHAP’s innovative agricultural research and cutting-edge facilities to both current and future collaborators as a Business Development Manager in the Commercial team. Prior to joining CHAP, Geoff was Project Development Manager for the Cambridge Enterprise-led Ceres Agri-Tech Knowledge Exchange Partnership, developing and funding university innovation in translational agri-tech. Geoff’s career also includes six years at the James Hutton Institute as a Fellow and Senior Scientist in Molecular Microbial Ecology, leaving in 2015 to gain a Graduate Diploma in Law. Geoff has also led national and international research projects on nitrogen fixation in Brazil and Mexico, gene transfer in the environment, and agricultural dust pollution in the Californian Central Valley, and his PhD explored mercury resistance in soil microorganisms at the University of Liverpool, where he also gained his first degree in Genetics. Geoff keeps fish in both pond and aquascape, with rabbits and family nestled in between.

Dr Geoff Elliott

Senior National Business Development Manager

Darren hails from a varied media background and has worked at a whole host of media outlets including the Metro, the Evening Standard, Radio Aire and Minster FM. Before this he plied his trade at a food and drink magazine and website platform that he built and ran. He was responsible for the overall branding of the organisation as well as taking the lead on the marketing and communications strategy. He consequently became a digital marketing and social media expert. Darren is an avid supporter of Liverpool Football Club and followed them to glory in Istanbul in 2005. He lived in Hong Kong in the year of the handover in 1997 and in Tokyo from 2000 to 2006. He speaks fluent Japanese and has written a YA Fantasy novel.

Darren Hassall

Marketing Manager

Matthew has worked in the charitable sector for membership organisations for the previous five years, including three years at the Royal Geographical Society. He holds a BA(Hons) in Modern History. As CHAP’s membership manager Matthew will be based in York. He has responsibility for the management and continuing development of the membership programme. Before making the move to Membership management, he worked in retail banking, teaching and lived and worked in Australia. Matthew is an avid football and cricket fan (Huddersfield Town). He loves to travel and is a keen walker. On his travels he has climbed Mt Rinjani (in Lombok) and New Zealand’s Mt Ngauruhoe (a.k.a. Mt Doom from Lord of the Rings).

Matthew Briggs

Membership Manager

Rebecca is CHAP’s Digital Marketing Executive. Her previous experience in Social Media Management, Marketing and Communications was gained working at York St John University and the York Walls Festival. She has a first class degree in English Literature and Media Studies. In her spare time she reaches for her guitar, having taught herself to play, and loves to read. When younger, she lived in the ‘Wheat State’ of Kansas.

Rebecca Spencer

Digital Marketing Executive

Monique brings 25 years’ experience in negotiation, co-ordination and working closely with suppliers, to provide support in the areas of cost-effective print, distribution, market research, advertising and event solutions. Working alongside Senior Management Teams, Monique supports the commercial and marketing teams, providing tight budgetary management and control.  A reliable team player, she is always willing to lend a hand. Monique loves spending time in France, enjoying the culture and way of life.  Back home, she loves organising events and socialising with friends and family and taking care of her health – a Pilates mat or walking boots are always close to hand.

Monique White

Events and Communications Manager

Nicole joins the CHAP team as Marketing Assistant. New to the field, she studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Health, Safety, and Environment in her hometown of Perth, Western Australia. After finishing university, she went on to work at an underground gold mine on a fly-in-fly-out roster throughout the covid-pandemic. Once travel restrictions eased, she decided to move permanently to York, where her partner is from. She has now traded early morning swims in the ocean for cycling routes, sometimes off road, and music festivals that her partner performs at which occasionally gets in the way of her strength training.

Nicole Clappinson

Marketing Assistant

Kelly, in her role as Finance Director at CHAP, leads the finance function and team and is also an active member of the executive management team. She gained more than 10 years’ experience in the manufacturing and construction industry, during one of the most difficult global recessions which required businesses to show improvements to internal procedures and working practices. Most recently she has held a board level position in a SME within the manufacturing sector, which required a diverse skillset from sound corporate governance, to effective change processes. Kelly holds an MSc degree and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Outside of work, Kelly owns an Irish Setter and truly believes they are the most good natured and affectionate dogs. She hates having her photo taken and has been known to exhibit moderate competitiveness in team-building escape room games.

Kelly Crowther-Riley

Finance Director

Christine is a CIMA qualified accountant with over 15 years’ experience across various roles in finance. She has worked in numerous sectors in both contract and permanent positions – renewable energy, potato farming and processing, train operator, hospitality, financial services (to name a few). Within work, she enjoys a challenge and if there is any way to streamline a task then she will look to find it. Outside of work Christine enjoys watching sports – particularly Darts. She also loves to try new hobbies, recently being to a pottery class and flower arranging class (but was no good at either).

Christine Pattison

Interim Financial Controller

Mark has more than 14 years’ experience working within a projects setting, the majority of this time was spent within the rail service industry working on both long term maintenance contracts and short term refresh projects ranging from £10m to £100m. More recently he has worked within the steel manufacturing industry, where he used his considerable excel skills to enable the business to improve the efficiency of their internal reporting. Mark has a BA in Business and Management, Association of Project Managers Fundamental qualification and is working towards his Chartered Institute of Management Accountants qualifications. Interesting/fun fact: Mark is a bit of a plane spotter and spent five years loading aircraft for the RAF in the UK and abroad.

Mark Larsen

Senior Project Accountant

Ed has more than 11 years’ experience in a variety of bidding roles across the IT and higher education sectors, and across grant funded projects, contract research and commercial tendering. He has achieved wins up to £45 million, positions on 20 highly competitive framework agreements and has worked on numerous industry-academia partnerships. Ed has a strong background in sales, marketing and commercial roles and held a board level position within an innovative IT research and development SME. Ed has a BSc (Hons) in Social Psychology and holds the APMP (Association of Proposal Management Professionals) qualification. He is also an experienced project manager and has PRINCE2 certification. Ed enjoys working with international partners and customers. Ed spent several years working in Europe and is an enthusiastic traveller. As a break from bidding he enjoys pursuing his interest in cars and driving.

Ed Mallows

Bid Manager

Mae brings 12 years’ experience of working in finance to CHAP. She began her career within the construction industry at the age of 17, where she worked in sales and marketing for just over a year as Customer Enquiry Assistant, before moving across into the finance department where she worked as an Accounts Assistant for a further six years. Following this she moved on to work in the farming industry for an animal feed manufacturer, as Finance Assistant. Mae is a self-confessed nature geek who loves anything to do with animals, though she is particularly fond of cows. She loves to travel, and picked up the snorkelling bug while swimming with turtles in the Maldives. Closer to home, Mae enjoys fishing and country walks.

Mae Woodcock

Accounts Clerk

Amy joins the team as Project Accountant. Prior to joining CHAP, Amy worked in a care home and a prestige and luxury car garage specialising in administration and finance. After under-taking self learning about project management, Amy decided that this role was perfect for her! In her spare time, Amy loves playing board games and enjoys going to music gigs, gardening, cooking and baking. Amy also has a cat who is spoilt rotten and definitely knows it!  

Amy Skeels

Project Accountant

Adrian has been an accountant of one kind or another for over 30 years. He has worked in numerous sectors including Telecoms, Aerospace, Higher Education, Engineering, Food and Drink manufacturing and Housing Associations. Fascinated by technology he was seconded onto the global SAP rollout team whilst in Telecoms which was a huge challenge for all those involved. To relax, he likes to ride one of his bikes or plan his next trip abroad.

Adrian Smith

Project Accountant

Matthew graduated in 2018 with a BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Statistics from the university of Portsmouth. Since graduating he has worked in finance/accounts payable related roles in various sectors including: Engineering consultancy, science and technology, and engineering manufacturing. Most recently working in the finance department as an Invoicing and Collections Officer for the Food Standards Agency. He moved up to York from London earlier in the year to live with his partner and to be closer to his biggest interest outside of work, Newcastle United Football club. Having been indoctrinated as a baby by his dad, it has been a big part of his life ever since.

Matthew Scott

Finance Co-Ordinator

Sophie has joined the CHAP team after working in practice for the last 8 years, initially working on statutory accounts and latterly in outsourced finance roles. She is currently studying towards qualifying with ACCA. Coming from a farming background, Sophie has an inherent interest in the field (pun intended), so CHAP felt like the right company to join as she moved into industry. In her spare time she tries to get out to the hills as much as possible, so is often hiking in the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales.

Sophie Pearcy

Assistant Management Accountant

Before working in finance, Megan has spent time in just about every industry there is, from a four year term in the United States Air Force, to the world of academia achieving a postgraduate masters degree in history. Megan has worked in a tech support call centre, landscaping, and food service. It wasn’t until 2019 that she discovered an affinity for accountancy and finance and started working full time in accounts administration. Now with several years of on the job experience, coupled with formal AAT qualifications, she is excited to work with CHAP to continue her professional development. Megan likes to spend her free time with her spouse and dog Ruby on countryside walks on nice days, or in the kitchen baking on rainy ones.

Megan Yadanza-Beardsell

Accounts Clerk

Sarah has a strong operational and delivery background with experience across B2B, B2C, airline, technology, education, government and corporate sectors. She has worked with start-ups and SMEs through to £multi-billion organisations. Having worked as an independent consultant in Digital/Business Transformation for 10 years she has led a number of large-scale national and pan-European complex programme deliveries. Sarah holds Chartered Manager status with the Chartered Management Institute, as well as being a Fellow member of the Institute of Consulting. Sarah is a classical pilates enthusiast, spending much of her spare time practising in the studio. She also enjoys stand up paddle boarding (SUP) having caught the bug while travelling.

Sarah van Aswegen

Operations Director

Katie is our HR Manager having joined CHAP in 2018 as Office Manager. Prior to CHAP Katie spent 10 years in commercial and administrative process improvement roles, working within the Education and MoD market sectors. Having successfully achieved her diploma in HRM Katie now looks after the Human Resources function in addition to supporting the executive team and Board. Katie loves to travel, is a big fan of Harry Potter and is learning Spanish.

Katie Edwards

HR Manager

Kaitlyn joins the team as Administrative Assistant. She’s worked in USA, Australia and England in manufacturing supply chain and sales, but her most recent role has been at DEFRA. With an MA in creative writing, she has experience in copyediting and producing newsletters. As well as her passion for sustainability, Kaitlyn runs a mounted reenactment team and performs demonstrations across the country. Her particular interest is side saddle and its associated history.

Kaitlyn Beattie


Corrie is an experienced Project and Programme Manager and holds the Prince2 Practitioner qualification. She has worked as an independent consultant for 8 years delivering strategic IT business transformation as part of large merger and acquisitions projects in the manufacturing, marine and logistics sectors. Background is operational business systems analysis, application rationalisation and software delivery. Corrie plays the classical guitar, collects RUSH memorabilia and enjoys prog rock gigs.  She also loves gaming.  She spent 14 years living in Spain and speaks Spanish.

Corrie-Anne Halliwell

Portfolio Manager

James previously worked in law for 10 years as a Litigation Executive and after careful consideration, decided that a career change into project management was the right fit for him. James recently completed his PRINCE 2 Practitioner qualification. James is one-quarter German (his grandmother is from Berlin) and in his spare time is trying to learn the language that most people expect him to be already fluent in! He also has a caring side and is registered on the Anthony Nolan Trust register as a stem cell donor.

James Godber

Project Manager

Laura has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sector, having previously managed a large diverse portfolio of events and projects in her career. As an integral part of the PMO Team Laura has experience of delivering InnovateUK Projects. She is skilled at managing client relationships, project reporting and implementing project controls throughout the life-cycle of projects, while collaborating with partners, industry and academics to ensure success. Laura is also an actress and can be found treading the boards outside of work. She also works on corporate videos and does voiceover work.

Laura White

Project Manager

Joanne graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in Agricultural Business Management and has held the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification since 2017. She has many years’ experience in managing projects and has worked as a Project Lead across the public and private sectors. Joanne loves the outdoors especially walking along the Northumberland coastline and spends as much time there as possible. She is also a closet novelist and is currently working on a crime novel:  less PD James and more ‘Good heavens has there been a murder?’

Joanne Glynn

Project Support Officer

Karen is an experienced Project/Programme Manager, with the APM Project Management Qualification.  Work experience includes leading and controlling projects as wide ranging as Type45 warship support to bringing innovative new technology into warehousing and logistics.  Karen is skilled at managing client relationships, and looking forward to collaborating with the organisations partners, industry and academics to deliver successful projects for CHAP. Karen has lived up and down the country, spent a year in Malaysia and recently settled near York.  She says she would like to spend more time playing golf to try to get her handicap down!

Karen Donal

Capability Liaison Manager

In and around a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in History, Alex has almost 10 years’ experience working in a variety of project management and co-ordination roles in both the academic and professional sectors. He has co-ordinated projects for an international construction company, a private health economics consortium and for the Universities of Birmingham and York. He has also worked for the British Library in London – the perks of a History degree! He is looking forward to putting his skills to good use in his new role as Capability Co-ordinator. Alex spent Summer 2020 working full time for a local residential care home for adults with learning and physical difficulties. It was a huge change to anything he  had previously done but he loved doing his bit and is continuing to work there in a voluntary setting.

Alex Jubb

Capability Co-ordinator

Lucy recently graduated from the University of York where she did an integrated masters in Biology, primarily focusing on plant science and culminating in a dissertation that explored nickel uptake in stomatal density mutants. Her degree included a year in industry at the agricultural consultancy ADAS, which involved assisting with field trials to test plant protection products on various crops. This helped shape an interest in balancing crop yield enhancement with sustainable and ecologically-considerate practises. In her new role with CHAP, Lucy will be working to enhance communication with Stockbridge Technology Centre as well as providing technical support for the capabilities located at STC. At university Lucy spent her spare time tap dancing as part of the dance society, but now you’ll often find her painting, crocheting or trying to identify random plants. Her dream to grow her own vegetables must be closer to realisation thanks to the facilities and experts at STC, where Lucy is based.

Lucy Plowman

Technical Liaison Officer, STC

Before joining CHAP, Archita worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Liverpool John Moores University, where she developed research interests in studying slugs and finding their biological control measures. Archita is originally from Assam, the Tea capital of India. She holds a PhD degree in Entomology from Gauhati University, India. In parallel to her PhD, she also worked as a Research Fellow at Tocklai Tea Research Institute India (the world’s oldest institute for tea research) for five years in various projects related to the management of tea pests. During 2018-19, Archita also worked for Vigyan Prasar, Delhi, the communication wing of the Department of Science and Technology, India. In her current role with CHAP, Archita is based in Egham at CABI’s laboratories. Archita loves playing and watching cricket. Her childhood dream was to become a cricketer.

Dr Archita Barua

Technical Liaison Officer, CABI

Sophie has a keen interest in plants and fungi. After graduating with a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Bath in 2016, she worked in the crop protection sector, first in industry at Syngenta, and later at the University of Exeter where she investigated fungal pathogens of plants on a molecular scale. Her most recent role at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew enabled her to study the impact of human activity on plant and microbial communities, using samples collected from the Valdivian forest in Argentina. In her current role with CHAP Sophie is based at CABI , where part of CHAP’s National Reference Collection is hosted. She hopes to be involved in the identification of novel biopesticides from organisms in this collection, and to encourage other members and researchers to utilise this valuable resource further. Interesting/fun fact: Sophie is originally from Cornwall, which is where her love for nature and the outdoors comes from. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering in the conservation sector – planting trees, carrying out ecological surveys and restoring habitats.

Sophie Lane

National Reference Collection Technician, CABI

Faye has a degree in Biological Sciences from University College London (UCL). She completed a science internship at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, working primarily on the conservation of threatened native orchids, utilizing their vital relationship with mycorrhizal fungi. Faye’s interest in agriculture was sparked by her previous role as a Scientific Technician at Rothamsted Research, conducting experiments to investigate herbicide resistance in black-grass. In her current role with CHAP, Faye is based at CHAP’s Digital Phenotyping Lab at Rothamsted Research. As a keen gardener, Faye is a big Monty Don fan. She also loves making - and eating - fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut with her own home-grown produce.

Faye Oddy

Technical Project Manager

Chioma is a project manager with a track record of successfully delivering complex projects across various industries. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Electronic Engineering and two Master's degrees in Project Management and Design Thinking, which underscores her commitment to continuous learning and professional development.   Her passion for the agrifood sector began as a hobby in hydroponic farming, and evolved into a full-fledged business venture in Nigeria. She enjoys researching and developing innovative solutions to challenges around sustainability in the agrifood sector. When she is not working, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends or simply unwinding by watching good movies.

Chioma Ezeanaka

Technical Liaison Officer, Cranfield University

Alison has 15 years of experience in agriculture research. After graduating she worked at Syngenta, Jealott’s Hill in commercial crop protection. This included herbicide resistance, biokentics and plant production. She then worked on fertiliser field trials at the University of Nottingham. Her last job involved working as Customer Success Coordinator for the farm management software start-up fieldmargin. This involved helping farmers digitise their maps and records. Alison enjoys a challenge (cycling the Bealach na Bà and trekking in Nepal). But you mostly find her relaxing on the sofa, watching films, planning holidays, or playing Mario Kart.

Alison Fraser

Technical Liaison Officer, Rothamsted Research

Kerry graduated from Bangor University with a degree in Zoology, here is where she first found her interest and passion for biological pest controls while completing an internship at Treborth Botanic gardens. Kerry is highly driven towards finding solutions for sustainable pest management in agriculture and horticulture and completed her doctorate with the awarded PhD from the collaboration between the Royal Horticultural Society and Liverpool John Moore’s. The focus of her studies included improving the efficacy of the parasitic nematode Phasmarhabiditis hermaphrodita, a biological control of pest slugs.  Kerry has spent the last 20yrs traveling and living in different parts of the UK (due to academic career path and a bit of madness). She loves exploring new places and learning about local knowledge. Kerry has a keen interest in parasitology and biological controls and is an expert slug sleuth with way too many pictures of slugs on her phone.

Dr Kerry McDonald-Howard

Research Associate, Project SLIMERS

Kaisa Kantola

Research Associate, IHCEA

Henry graduated from the university of Edinburgh with an Honours degree in Plant Science where he developed skills in molecular biology, genetics and botany. After this he worked for the CRO Charles river as an analytical chemist running LCMS to help bring new pharmaceuticals to market. Having grown up on a farm Henry has extensive experience in Agriculture from driving tractors to agronomy. Recently he has continued this in Australia where he had to rapidly develop a new skill in wildfire fighting! Now back in the UK he is excited to combine his knowledge of Research and Agriculture at CHAP. Outside of work Henry loves hiking and rock climbing so you might catch him rushing off to mountains on his weekends.

Henry Dakin

Research Assistant

Verda is a biomedical scientist who has worked in the food safety and plant protection sectors for the majority of her working life. She has over eight years’ experience in project management and holds the Prince2 Practitioner qualification. Prior to joining CHAP, she worked at Fera Science Ltd, most recently managing crop trials for a fortune 500 global food producer and leading several multimillion-pound environmental monitoring projects for the UK Government. Her speciality in project management is relationship management and contractor engagement. Outside of work, Verda loves spending time with her family. They are keen travellers and have been to all but one of the Ancient Wonders of the World. She has lived on 3 of the 6 continents and has visited 38 countries and counting.

Verda Fazlić

Project Manager

Loke is a recent Master's graduate from the University of Leeds with an MSc in Plant Science and Biotechnology primarily focusing on utilising different biochar feedstock in determining oat plants’ growth development and biochemical accumulation. Loke also achieved a first-class distinction degree at the University of Nottingham majoring in BSc Biotechnology and working with LED light to determine Chinese kale growth development. Gaining work experience as an intern in Crops for the Future Research Centre whilst in Malaysia, Loke mainly researched underutilised crops such as Bambara groundnut. Outside of work, Loke enjoys playing sports such as badminton and frisbee.

Loke Kha Chun

Research Technician


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