Department of Biology & Biochemistry

Dr Richard Cooper awarded Honorary Membership

Fri Dec 08 13:46:00 GMT 2017

Dr Richard Cooper, has been awarded an Honorary Membership of The British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP).

Recognising a distinguished career

richard_cooperRichard has been an active member of the BSPP since the 80s and was elected president in 2007. This year, his peers chose to make him an Honorary Member in recognition of his distinguished career spanning over four decades in teaching and researching.  

His work focuses on the academic and applied aspects of microbial diseases of crop plants, linked to world food security issues. The impact of Richard’s research in the field is evident with his published work being cited almost 6,000 times. 

Over the years, Richard has supervised over 50 researchers and has successfully secured 44 grants.

Understanding the mechanisms of infection

His research has linked fundamental understanding of mechanisms of infection to novel or better means of controlling disease. Industry has taken up his method of seed treatment in West Africa and disease resistance screening in South East Asia for the two major diseases of oil palm. Some other world crops studied include cassava, cacao and wheat.

He has also provided new insights as to how pathogenic bacteria and fungi overcome innate immunity of plants.

The BSPP is an international society with around 700 members from 49 countries. It has two international journals, as well as holding topic specific meetings and workshops, undertaking outreach activities and supporting undergraduate and postgraduate bursaries.

Richard said: “This recognition by my peers is much appreciated, especially as it contrasts with earlier times in many university biology departments when plant pathology was not regarded as mainstream. Now world food security is on everyone’s lips and has given true context to the extensive crop losses caused by plant diseases”.