CHAP strengthens scientific expertise

With a commitment to increasing crop productivity through applied agri-tech innovation, we are delighted to have added to our in-house scientific expertise with three new team members.

Dr Andreea Stroia, Dr Katja Maurer and Dr Victoria Woolley, pictured above, from left, have recently taken up positions within the Innovation Team, reporting to Innovation Director, Dr Ruth Bastow.


As Innovation Content and Outreach Coordinator, Dr Stroia has a vital role in growing CHAP’s network and creating thought-provoking content that demonstrates how agri-tech is making a positive difference in UK agriculture.

Prior to joining CHAP, Andreea completed a PhD in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Glasgow, before taking on a role in medical communications. During her doctoral studies, she investigated the effects of glyphosate on the metabolism of thale cress. She also worked alongside a team of engineers to develop a bio-sensing platform for the enzymatic detection of glyphosate in water samples. Based in Glasgow, she hopes to build on her passion for sustainable agriculture through her new position.


Dr Maurer joins CHAP as Innovation Sector Lead, specialising in plant pathology and integrated pest management (IPM).

Prior to joining CHAP, she worked for CHAP partner AHDB as Soft Fruit Advisory Panel Manager, and as a postdoctoral researcher at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in the United States.

Katja has a PhD in Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology from Technical University Graz, Austria, in partnership with the Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture, Germany. For this she explored strategies to control Verticillium wilt in hops.

She said: “I’ve enjoyed working in different agricultural and horticultural sectors throughout my career. Being an Innovation Sector Lead at CHAP gives me the opportunity to not only continue this work, but to also expand my experience and skills across the wider industry.

“My personal passion lies in plant pathology and integrated pest management where there is a lot of potential to innovate. CHAP is a great organisation to make a difference in these challenging times and I look forward to doing my part.”


Dr Woolley has taken on the role of Research Assistant for Genomics and Molecular Diagnostics. She completed a PhD at the University of Warwick, looking at the interaction of entomopathogenic fungi metabolites with insects, and how they could be used within IPM.

Following this, she took on a role at CHAP member, the Natural Resources Institute, before joining the CHAP team.

Victoria is based at CHAP’s Warwick office. She said: “I’m really pleased to be part of the team. I hope to use my experience within molecular biology to support the work CHAP is doing in molecular diagnostics and genomics, with the aim of developing tools and providing information that is beneficial to farmers.”

Learn more about CHAP and our Innovation Team. If you are interested in joining our team, keep up to date with our vacancies by using the drop-down tab menu at the top of our About page. For any other queries, please send us an email using the enquiries form at the bottom of our homepage.