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Dr Neil Havis

Crop Protection Team Leader
Crop Protection
Crop and Soil Systems

Research interests

  • Epidemiology, life cycle  and control of Ramularia leaf spot in barley.
  • Managing cereal and oilseed crops using Integrated Pest Management (including biopesticides and elicitors).
  • Developing new risk forecasts for fungal pathogens and incorporating into disease control progammes.
  • Developing new diagnostic assays for fungal pathogens.
  • Monitoring the development of reduced sensitivity to fungicides in fungal pathogens.
  • Monitoring the ear blight species complex in cereal crops and potential mycotoxin threat.
  • Control of late blight fungus in potatoes.

Selected research projects

  • Restricting pathogenic effect of Ramularia collo-cygni on barley
    This Danish government funded project is allowing SRUC to analyse the genome of the barley pathogen, Ramularia collo-cygni.
  • Development of a risk forecast for Ramularia leaf spot
    This AHDB funded project is aimed at producing a robust forecast for farmers to allow better control of this late season pathogen of barley.
  • Epidemiology of cereal and potato pathogens
    This work is funded by the Scottish Government and is aimed at improving our understanding of the spread of airborne diseases, in order to improve control.
  • Development of new diagnostics for airborne pathogens
    This work is funded by the Scottish Government and is aimed at developing new tests that will allow more effective study of pathogen movement.


Lead a Masters course module in Forensic Plant Health for the Sustainable Plant Health course. This module is aimed at training applied researchers for the future.

PhD students

  • Kyran Maloney
    This is an AHDB funded project to investigate the curative activity of fungicides against the late blight pathogen, Phytophthhora infestans, on potatoes.
  • Clari Burrell
    This is an AHDB funded studentship examining the effects of fungal infection on host physiology in the absence of disease symptoms.

Selected publications

  • Kaczmarek M, Piotrowska MJ, Fountaine JM, Gorniak K, McGrann GRD, Armstrong A, Wright KM, Newton AC,  Havis ND. (2016).  Infection strategy of Ramularia collo-cygni and development of Ramularia leaf spot on barley and alternate graminaceous hosts. Plant Pathology DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12552
  • Havis ND , Brown JKM, Clemente  G,  Frei P, Jedryczka M, Kaczmarek  J, Kaczmarek  M , Matusinsky  P, McGrann GRD,  Pereyra S, Piotrowska  M, Sghyer  H, Tellier A, Hess M. (2015). Ramularia collo-cygni—an emerging pathogen of barley crops. Phytopathology 105, 895-904
  • Havis ND, Nyman M, Oxley SJP.( 2014). Evidence for seed transmission and symptomless growth of Ramularia collo-cygni in barley (Hordeum vulgare). Plant Pathology 63: 929–936
  • Havis ND, Gorniak K, Carmona MA, Formento AN, Luque AG, Scandiani MM, (2014). First molecular detection of Ramularia leaf spot (Ramularia collo-cygni) in seeds and leaves of barley in Argentina. Plant Disease, Vol 98 (2), 277
  • Walters DR, Avrova A, Bingham IJ, Burnett FJ, Fountaine J,  Havis ND, Hoad SP, Hughes G, Looseley M, J. P. Oxley SP, Renwick A,  Topp CFE, Newton AC. (2012). Control of foliar diseases in barley: towards an integrated approach. European Journal of Plant Pathology 133: 33-73.  

See all of Dr Neil Havis' publications

Dr Neil Havis


Address: Crop & Soils Systems, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4136

Fax: 0131 535 4144