School expert joins tree health task force

Rob Fraser, Professor of Agricultural Economics, has been appointed to a new national taskforce of experts looking at tree health and biosecurity. Rob is one of ten key academics making up the new independent Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce.

The Taskforce will bring a multi-disciplinary perspective to ensuring the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has ‘access to the most up-to-date and robust evidence in support of decisions on dealing with tree and plant disease’.

Professor Fraser said: ‘I’m delighted to be called on to play a role in this important taskforce. It was formed as one of several actions to emerge from a meeting of the government’s emergency committee (Cobra), which was chaired by the Environment Secretary in early November.’

The Taskforce is expected to deliver an interim report in early December 2012, setting out recommendations for Defra to consider, and a final report on its strategic view of the evidence in Spring 2013.

The Taskforce is chaired by Professor Christopher Gilligan, of the University of Cambridge, and will report to Professor Ian Boyd, Defra’s Chief Scientific Adviser.