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Matthew Back

Matthew Back

Reader, Harper Adams University

Dr Matthew Back is a Reader in Nematology based at Harper Adams University. He is responsible for teaching Plant Pathology and Crop Protection to undergraduate and postgraduate students. His main role is concerned with research focussed on the biology and management of plant parasitic nematodes, particularly on potatoes. Research topics have largely concentrated on alternative management strategies such as biofumigation. Much of his research on biofumigation (e.g. biomass incorporation, sowing date and nutrient inputs) has been used to inform potato growers of best practice. Dr Back has a strong track record of supervising PhD students having current/previous involvement in 16 projects to date. Additionally, he is a co-investigator in a ‘Sustainable Agriculture Research Innovation Club (SARIC) project to assist with the development of the AHDB PCN model.

Pesticides remain an important component of pest and disease management in UK field crops. However, registration and reregistration of active substances is challenging under EU legislation (Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009). Biofumigation using short-term brassica crops may offer a useful contribution towards the suppression of various pests and pathogens. However, it is important to understand the factors that affect the performance of this process. This session will look at some of the work undertaken at Harper Adams University on targets including potato cyst nematodes, stem and bulb nematodes and Fusarium graminearum.

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