11 May 2021

Multidisciplinary science to support innovation in agriculture

Organised by:

SCI’s Agrisciences Committee

Online Webinar 14.00 - 16.30 BST

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


This webinar will provide an introduction to the SCI's Agrisciences Group and give an insight into how the SCI's Agrisciences Committee works.

SCI's Agrisciences Group is a unique multidisciplinary network covering the production, protection and utilisation of crops for food and non-food products. We have 250 members including academic and industry leaders, researchers, consultants, PhD students and postdocs, lecturers, and retired members. 

SCI’s Agrisciences Committee has 16 members and works on behalf of the Group to organise conferences, facilitate networking, provide career support, produce articles for SCI journals including Pest Management Science and the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, and organise visits to external organisations. The committee supports people at all stages of their career - whether these are individuals looking for their first role or experienced professionals in the agrisciences sector.

This webinar will be split into two parts:
Part one (14:00-15:00 GMT) will describe the aims of the SCI Agrisciences Group, with five short presentations to demonstrate the breadth of expertise of current committee members on a range of topics including quantitative genetics, food supply chain, animal health, insect behaviour, and pesticide regulation.

Part two (15:00-16:30 GMT) will be an SCI Agrisciences Committee meeting / AGM which you are most welcome to join and see what we do.


This event will be of interest to people looking to find out about the work of the SCI Agrisciences Committee aiming to support innovation in agriculture, and encourage new members to join the SCI Agrisciences Group and/or Committee.


Joe Oddy

BSc (Hons)

Joe is a second year PhD student at Rothamsted Research in the BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnership program, with partners Mondelēz UK R&D Ltd and the University of Reading. His research is in the area of quantitative genetics and plant metabolism, with the goal of reducing asparagine levels in wheat grain to improve wheat quality.

Martin Collison


For the last 33 years Martin has combined a career as an academic with farming, importing and consultancy and has, since 2002, run his own specialist economic development consultancy, Collison and Associates Limited. He is a non-executive director of a plant genetics company which markets fruit varieties globally, was a director of an import business for 10 years and partner in a farming and horticultural business for 14 years. He works from the local and regional level to the EU and beyond, now broadly spending a third of his time with industry clients, a third with government and a third with Universities and research centres.

Richard Hopkins

University of Greenwich

Richard Hopkins leads the Agriculture, Health & Environment Department at The Natural Resources Institute of The University of Greenwich. His journey there began with a degree in Agricultural Zoology at The University of Leeds, before migrating north to Edinburgh where he did a PhD on host plant resistance to the cabbage and turnip roots flies. The northward journey continued with a move to work on pollen beetles at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala. One thing led to another and the initial two year contract in Sweden extended to 20 years and it was 2014 before Richard returned to the UK and joined NRI. His work focuses on the behaviour of pest insects and the vectors of human and plant diseases in a wide range of systems, but with some focus on mosquitoes.

Robin Blake

BSc (Hons), PhD, PMP, CSci, FRSB

Robin is a Principal Consultant for Compliance Services International (CSI) in the UK where he prepares registration dossiers and risk assessments, and provides expert regulatory support for plant protection products and biocides. Prior to that he held various roles within Research and Development at Syngenta. He has a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology from the University of Bath, and a PhD in Agricultural Ecology from the University of Reading. He is the chair of the Agrisciences committee for the Society of Chemical Industry, Associate Editor for Pest Management Science and an editorial board member for Outlooks on Pest Management. He is also a Chartered Scientist (CSci) and holds the Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation.

Sokratis Stergiadis

University of Reading

Sokratis is an Associate Professor in Animal Science at the University of Reading and his professional expertise covers several teaching and research roles in animal science. He has several years of underpinning and applied research experience by actively leading, coordinating or participating in multidisciplinary research consortia, in several research topics, including the improvement of the nutritional quality of animal products via husbandry, animal diet and crossbreeding practices; development of solutions for the reduction of livestock greenhouse gas emissions; prediction modelling for livestock greenhouse gas emissions and feed nutritive value; improvement of nutrient and energy use efficiency in ruminants; achievement of the net zero carbon targets; unravel the role of rumen microbiome in ruminant metabolism and product quality; applications of metabolomics on animal and food science; and assessment of the effect of animal products and plant-based alternatives’ consumption on human nutrition.


Tuesday 11 May

Introduction from the SCI Agrisciences Committee Chair
Dr Robin Blake, Compliance Services International (CSI)
Why technology will transform agriculture
Martin Collison, Collison and Associates
Research for Impact at NRI
Prof Richard Hopkins, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich
Understanding the Genetic Control of Asparagine Accumulation to Improve Wheat Quality
Joe Oddy, Rothamsted Research
Net zero carbon emissions from livestock
Dr Sokratis Stergiadis, University of Reading
Is EU regulation stifling innovation in crop protection?
Dr Robin Blake, Compliance Services International (CSI)
Panel discussion
End of webinar / Start of SCI Agrisciences Committee Meeting & AGM
End of SCI Agrisciences Committee Meeting & AGM (optional)


This event is free to attend.

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