Director of Science at the James Hutton Institute and Professor of Biology at the University of St Andrews, UK

Lesley’s current role is Director of Science at The James Hutton Institute where she is responsible for the strategic direction and delivery of research including overseeing the delivery of the Scottish Government’s RESAS Strategic Research Programme and Underpinning Capacity resources.  She is a member of the executive team responsible for strategic planning of two large capital investment projects (The International Barley Hub and The Advanced Plant Growth Centre) that when established will transform Hutton research capabilities and catalyse stakeholder interactions and investment in translational crop science. 

She has more than 30 years’ research experience working on plant virus resistance and epidemiology and maintains a research focus as Professor of Plant Virology in the School of Biology, The University of St Andrews.  She has led many multi-partner international research projects.  Currently she has ongoing collaborations in China and USA on virus resistance, and in Malawi and Kenya to develop sustainable and climate resilient potato production systems.   She serves on the Board of the Dundee Science Centre, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, sits on various funding panels and was President (vice president and president elect) of British Society for Plant Pathology (2012-2014).