MBE honour for forest pathology technician

Susan KirkNewly retired Susan Kirk has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for services to tree health, forest research, and service to the community in Hampshire. Susan retired in May 2015 after almost 39 years working at Forest Research as a pathology research technician. During this time, she gave vital technical support to seminal work at Forest Research.

Susan worked on a range of very different pathogens and developed strong technical mycological and Phytophthora skills which contributed to FR gaining an international reputation as a Phytophthora centre of excellence. She also spent 20 years working on Dutch elm disease and her final six years on oak decline. Her input has been recognised in 48 scientific publications in which she features as a co-author. Susan has always striven to achieve technical excellence, combined with a strong commitment and loyalty to protecting British trees.

Susan commented: "I am delighted and honoured that the end of my career has been marked by this award. Working with talented scientists at Forest Research and being able to make a contribution towards important research into tree pests and diseases has been exciting and rewarding. My time at Alice Holt has been wonderful."

Professor James Pendlebury, Forest Research Chief Executive added: “We are delighted that Susan has received this well-deserved honour. In the 39 years she has worked for Forest Research she has been a key member of our scientific teams that work to combat tree pests and diseases. In particular she helped to carry out crucial research into Dutch elm disease and, more recently, into acute oak decline.”