NIAB has appointed Dr Mark Stalham as the new head of NIAB CUF, the potato research division of NIAB.
Stalham will take up his new role immediately having already worked as a senior research associate at the organisation for several years.
He will continue to have close involvement with the executive committee of Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association (CUPGRA), which funds and supplies industry support for potato research.
Dr Stalham said: “I’m looking forward to this great opportunity to pursue some new avenues for collaboration in the field of potato research, agronomy and commercial services.
“There is some fantastic science being conducted at NIAB and the links with the University of Cambridge, through the Cambridge Centre for Crop Science (3CS), should expand this. The key will be linking the pure research with the applied end of R&D and knowledge exchange, for which NIAB CUF has become widely recognised.”
Stalham has a PhD in potato crisp agronomy and and a MSc in viticulture, boasting over 33 years of experience in potato research and knowledge exchange.
According to NIAB he has been instrumental in establishing industry and academic contacts, securing funding, developing and managing key industry and research relationships with AHDB, industry partners, universities, CUPGRA and potato farmers in the UK and elsewhere in the world.
“I have the same enthusiasm for our team, and potatoes, as when I started my career. My goal is to see NIAB CUF expand again to a sustainable number of senior and junior researchers, supported by a technical staff who take pride in their work and its implications for the industry,” Stalham said.
“I’d also like to explore opportunities to enhance the connection between all of NIAB’s potato research, trials and services, which span agronomy, disease testing, varieties and inspection.”