Jo McTigue

Crop Protection Scientific Officer - Pesticide Regulations

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Crop responsibilities: risk register, ornamental crops, tomato, cucumber, pepper, aubergine, mushrooms

Joanna started with AHDB in October 2019 and works in the EAMU (Extension of Approval for Minor Uses) team. Prior to this she worked in contract research for five years in efficacy trials and in regulatory compiling Biological Assessment Dossiers. My PhD and associated research post at CEH Oxford involved evaluation of the impact of baculoviruses and fungi against lepidoptera. She grew up working in the family-owned garden centre. 

Her role involves working in the EAMU team with growers of protected ornamentals, bulbs and outdoor flowers, and hardy nursery stock, and to growers of protected edibles; tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and mushrooms. With EAMU submissions for new use of a product requiring agreement from the authorisation holder, an understanding as to how to apply the product and a familiarity with the crop production system, Joanna’s team has a budget to contract residue trials if no data is available and product need is great. She works to provide crop protection products to growers by regularly talking and visiting with growers and agronomists, routinely meeting with AgChem companies, and by liaising closely with the UK regulator (CRD).

Joanna also prepares worker exposure calculations to improve practical usefulness of an EAMU. AHDB commission efficacy trials and crop safety trials to inform which products might have a minor crop use, and her team feeds knowledge of potential products into these trials while continuously work with CRD to support more accurate evaluation of crop production systems.

She is also responsible for updating the active substance risk register that AHDB holds, by feeding in information from the European Commission and CRD. This register provides a score for risk of loss to each active substance and by linking this to the crop specific risk registers for pests, diseases and weeds AHDB have a useful overview of control options, or lack of such.

In addition, the EAMU team often shares knowledge and data with our European counterparts and will participate in research projects or co-fund product trials where relevant to UK growers. Joanna also sits on the Mushroom and Ornamental CEGs of the EU Minor Use Co-ordination Facility, which meets twice yearly. Minor crops are seldom included on-label by industry, and Joanna and her team work together to ensure that growers of minor crops have continual access to as wide an array of crop protection products as possible.

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