Dr Sally Howlett

Sally’s research background is in integrated pest management and sustainable crop production.  Her PhD at Newcastle University focused on the biology, behaviour and control of slug pests in arable crops.  

After a stint in Belize at the National Botanic Garden helping to develop a toolbox for horticultural pest control using locally available, low cost approaches she moved to AgResearch, New Zealand and worked for several years across the disciplines of entomology, nematology and malacology on the biocontrol of clover root weevil and other pasture pests such as aphids, black beetle and slugs.

On returning to the UK she extended her focus to include the crops themselves working on EU funded on-farm crop breeding research with composite cross populations of cereals taking a whole-systems view and comparing performance under conventional, organic and agroforestry management approaches.

Sally’s current role is as a Knowledge Exchange Fellow in the N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme. This is a multidisciplinary programme which brings together livestock, crop and social scientists from the eight most research-intensive universities in the North of England (Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York) in a single initiative focused on ensuring the stability and integrity of national and global agri-food supply chains in the face of environmental and socioeconomic challenges.

Based at The University of York, Sally’s job is to connect scientists from the N8 institutes with national and international external stakeholders including farmers, distributors, retailers, consumers and health professionals to jointly develop projects leading to impact outside of academia.  She is particularly interested in co-innovation approaches to agricultural research where all stakeholders are integral to the research process from inception to application.


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