Crute, Ian 1949

(b.1949) Plant Pathologist

Formerly the Director of Rothamsted Research, Professor Crute is the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board's Chief Scientist. At Rothamstead Research Crute’s responsibilities were for all scientific, operational, commercial and external liaison activities of the institute. This was a role Crute held since 1999 through most of the GM debate. The crop portfolio at Rothamstead covered cereals, oilseeds, sugar beet, potatoes, willow and miscanthus and input into tropical crops.

Crute achieved a First-Class Honours degree in botany and a PhD in plant pathology from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was a research group leader in plant pathology at what is now Warwick-HRI from 1973 to 1986. In 1986 he obtained a Fulbright Fellowship and went to the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA to work on the genetics of resistance to fungal pathogens. On his return to England a year later he moved to HRI East Malling as Head of the Crop and Environment Protection Department. In 1993 he decided to move back to HRI at Warwick and spent two years as Head of Plant Pathology before he was promoted to Director at Wellesbourne with overall responsibility for the research direction at the site.

Crute's scientific contributions are recorded in over 160 publications and has been awarded the Research Medal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England in 1992 and the British Crop Production Council Medal in 2006. He was elected as President of the British Society for Plant Pathology in 1995 and was honoured with a Visiting Professorship in the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford. His committee and board memberships include: Chairman of the Sainsbury Laboratory Council, member of the Lead Expert Group on the “Future of Food and Farming” Foresight project and Board member of HGCA’s Crop Evaluation Ltd.