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    Harper Adams experts named among first Fellows of the Association of Applied Biologists

    Posted 15 April

    Dr Matt Back, left, and Dr Tom Pope

    The Association of Applied Biologists has named two Harper Adams University academics among its inaugural Fellows.

    Reader in Entomology Dr Tom Pope and Reader in Nematology Dr Matthew Back were among the experts chosen to be the first Fellows of the Learned Society and charity, which focuses across many areas of applied biology.

    It works to promote the study and advancement of all branches of biology, and in particular, those where the biological sciences are applied to the production of food, materials and energy and for the maintenance and improvement of earth’s environment.

    The work of the Society spans the globe, allowing its members to network and discuss the latest developments and research with fellow experts in their specialism – with groups ranging from Biological Control and Integrated Pest Management to Nematology.

    Both Dr Pope and Dr Back have been involved with its work for many years.

    Tom said: “I have been a member of the AAB since 2012 and have been a regular attendee and presenter at the annual AAB - Biological Control and Integrated Pest Management group meetings, alongside colleagues from the Entomology Group.

    “I also regularly publish research completed at Harper Adams in the AAB journal, Annals of Applied Biology.”

    And Matt added: “Up until January 2024, I was programme secretary on the AAB council.

    “Prior to this appointment, I was convenor of the Nematology Group for around six years. I have been a member of the AAB since 1999 and have been involved in the organisation of over 10 AAB conferences.

    “Moreover, I am an editor for Annals of Applied Biology.”

     Both hope that their new Fellowships will help raise the profile of the AAB among their colleagues, and lead to greater opportunities for both Harper Adams employees and students – with Harper Adams PhD students, in particular, already working closely with the Society.

    Both have also expressed their gratitude to the Society for their Fellowships.

    Matt said: “I am deeply honoured to have been made a fellow of a learned society. The areas covered by the AAB align perfectly with my own research interests and activities.”

    And Tom added: “I am delighted to have been made a fellow of the Association of Applied Biologists.

    “The research done by the Entomology Group fits well with the charitable mission of the AAB - and indeed, many PhD students within the Group give the first external presentation from their project at AAB organised meetings.”

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