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Professor Nick Birch

Professor Nick Birch

Nick Birch

 +44 (0)344 928 5428

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Prof. Nick Birch  is a key staff member leading Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPM) research at the James Hutton Institute.

For details of ongoing IPM research areas and projects, please visit the IPM@Hutton website

Long-term research goals

Policy led environmental research with practical outcomes for global agriculture:

I develop and use a multi-disciplinary, ecosystems approach to optimise key ecological services (Integrated Pest Management/IPM, biocontrol) for Scottish, UK and international crop protection, conserving and utilising on-farm biodiversity.

By understanding the role of biodiversity in agro-ecosystems, key functional groups of predators and parasitoids are being enhanced using novel biocontrol techniques, to reduce the need for pesticides under policy  91/414 EEC.

On-farm floral biodiversity is also being enhanced in agro-ecosystems to promote both biocontrol and pollination of crops. A raspberry-legume on farm research platform has been set up for long-term studies with Dr P. Iannetta and Dr G. Begg (The James Hutton Institute), Dr N. Sotherton (Game Conservancy and Wildlife Trust),  and Prof S. Wratten (Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty, Lincoln University, New Zealand).

Current research contracts and grants:

I coordinate the James Hutton Institute IPM research for two new EU and one new Defra Hortlink funded projects, starting 2010-11. Total grant award value is > £10 million.

I lead and manage several externally funded projects (Scandinavian, EU and UK) with a total value to the James Hutton Institute of > £1.4 million (2005-2016).

  • EU PURE: I coordinate the James Hutton Institute's scientific inputs on development of IPM for major crops in Europe. Total project value £12 million.
  • AHDC SCEPTRE: I co-lead the UK entomology inputs on development of IPM for fruit and vegetable crops. Total value to the James Hutton Institute £100K 
  • I co-lead IPM research in the EU project AMIGA, developing novel ways to assess the biosafety and use of GM crops more sustainably within Integrated Pest Management systems. Total value to the James Hutton Institute £400,000.
  • TSB (breeding soft fruit with new pest resitance traits based on physical barriers): I am a specialist entomology advisor on raspberry pests and related IPM for this project.


Leading Ideas

  • Pest Control and Management