Rothamsted Research has appointed Professor Angela Karp as its new director and chief executive.
Karp had been acting as interim director since December last year, in addition to her role as director for science innovation, engagement and partnerships. She is the first female director of the institute since it was founded in 1843.
She has more than 35 years’ experience in crop genetics and breeding for food and bio-renewables. She has more than 130 refereed publications, co-authored a textbook on genetics, and is co-editor of books on genetics and bioenergy.
In 2007, she received the Royal Agricultural Society of England Research Medal and, in 2008, the Alfred-Toepfer Prize for her research achievements.
More recently Karp has led the institute’s overall strategy on external engagement and partnerships. This included developing new mechanisms for collaborative innovation, including a new accelerator initiative (AgRIA) to co-develop agri-food solutions with businesses and the climate change investment programmeSHAKE.
“I feel very excited, and hugely proud, to be taking up this role at a time when agriculture is undergoing such significant transformation,” said Karp. “It is a time of great opportunities, but also of considerable challenges, as farmers strive to identify the most resilient, viable and sustainable routes to providing nutritious, healthy food whilst also enhancing and protecting the environment.
“With its world-class resources, breadth and depth of knowledge of agricultural systems, ability to engage across the sector and 177-year-old brand, Rothamsted Research is in a unique position to make significant contributions through agricultural science and innovation, whilst also providing independent evidence-based analysis and advice to society.”
Rothamsted Research is core-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, and works in partnership with the Lawes Agricultural Trust which owns the estates at Harpenden and Broom's Barn, and supports Rothamsted Research's national and international agricultural scientific research through the provision of land, facilities and funding.