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Dr David Cooke

Dr David Cooke

David Cooke

 +44 (0)1382 568831

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


David is a Research Leader in Cell and Molecular Sciences at the James Hutton Institute. His current research interests include: 

  • Development and exploitation of genetic markers (SSR, effector gene sequences) for examining the population biology, epidemiology and management of Phytophthora infestans (potato late blight).
  • Co-ordinator of pathogen data for European project examining populations of Phytophthora infestans (Euroblight). See data release on 2013-16 population "Blight mapped in Europe" and maps.
  • Evolution and population genetics of the genus Phytophthora.
  • Use of metabarcoding to examine diversity of Phytophthora species in crops, forests and natural ecosystems. In current funding I am testing the technology for improved plant biosecurity and management of Phytophthora in nurseries in the PHYTO-THREATS project.
  • Soft fruit Phytophthora species: detection and control.
  • AHDB Potatoes funded projects: "Monitoring GB Phytophthora infestans population change 2015-17" and PhD "Improved potato late blight management using sophisticated models of pathogen infection and spread" which has released the Hutton Criteria to replace the Smith Period.
  • Epidemiology and risks posed by Phytophthora ramorum and P. kernoviae to managed gardens and heathland in Scotland. Full report and extension report on risks as a result of disease spread on larch are available. In addition a review on threats Phytophthora species pose to plant health in Scotland.

Leading Ideas

  • Biodiversity and Ecosystems
  • Crop and grassland production and disease control

Area of Strategic Research Programme

Further information the Scottish Government's Strategic Research Programme is available

  • Theme 1: Natural Assets
  • 1.3 - Biodiversity and Ecosystems
  • 1.3.3 Resilience of ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Theme 2: Productive and sustainable land management and Rural Economies
  • 2.1 - Crop and Grassland Production and Disease Control
  • 2.1.4 Plant pest epidemiology