Sarah Green BSc, PhD

Programme Manager

Sarah Green


Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5900
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5941
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 5124

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY

Sarah Green joined Forest Research in 2001. She obtained a BSc (Hons) from the University of North Wales, Bangor, in 1990, and was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to undertake her PhD studies in plant pathology at Lincoln University, New Zealand, from 1991 to1995. Sarah then worked on the use of fungal pathogens as biocontrol agents based in Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan, Canada from 1995-2001, latterly as part of the Canadian Government Visiting Fellowship Scheme.

Current role

Forest Pathologist and Programme Manager

Responsible for management of the Forest Research Northern Research Station's (NRS) pathology laboratory, and for developing and carrying out research projects to address important tree health problems in UK forests, focusing on oomycete, fungal and bacterial diseases.

Leads the FR Research Programme ‘Understanding Biotic Threats’.

This programme aims to increase our understanding of forest resilience to pests and pathogens and to mitigate risk of future outbreaks by;

  • Investigating how environmental factors influence pest and pathogen behaviour
  • Examining the evidence for natural resistance in UK tree populations
  • Identifying key future threats and promoting preparedness for them
  • Investigating methods for improved surveillance and detection

Current projects

  • Lead researcher on PHYTO-THREATS project: ‘Global threats from Phytophthora spp.; understanding drivers of emergence and opportunities for mitigation through nursery best practice’. This is a three-year collaborative research project funded by the Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) programme and part of the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative.
  • POnTE: Pest Organisms Threatening Europe. POnTE is a four-year research project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme focused on the investigation of genetics, biology, epidemiology, vector ecology and economic impacts of three pathosystems, including new and exotic Phytophthora species, that threaten strategic crops and natural landscapes in the EU.
  • Molecular detection of Phytophthoras in Scottish soil environments: This project uses Illumina metabarcoding to examine the diversity of Phytophthora species in soils collected from a range of forests, woodlands, public gardens and other amenity sites. 
  • Comparative genomics of Phytophthora austrocedri: This project will produce a reference genome for P. austrocedri, which is damaging forest and woodland ecosystems in Britain and Argentina, and will re-sequence a range of isolates to elucidate key elements of the evolution and relatedness of the two P. austrocedri ‘types’ (British and Argentinian). 
  • Establish a clonal/progeny trial of Japanese larch trees growing in the Galloway district showing putative tolerance to P. ramorum: This project is part of a wider initiative involving collaboration with tree breeders and geneticists to examine the evidence for natural resistance to important diseases in Britain’s tree populations.

Previous research projects

Affiliations and achievements

  • Member of British Society for Plant Pathology
  • Received various travel awards from the British Society for Plant Pathology, including a Senior Fellowship for a study visit to the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute in 2008.

Research areas

Main recent publications

Henricot, B., Pérez-Sierra, A., Armstrong, A., Sharp, P. M., Green, S. 2017. Morphological and genetic analyses of the invasive forest pathogen Phytophthora austrocedri reveal two clonal lineages colonised Britain and Argentina from a common ancestral population. Phytopathology (In Press) 

Green, S., MacAskill, G.A., Dun, H., Armstrong, A.C., Henricot, B. 2016. First report of Phytophthora austrocedri infecting Nootka cypress in Britain New Disease Reports 33, 21. []

Nowell, R.W., Sharp, P.M., Laue, B.E., Green, S. 2016. Comparative genomics reveals genes significantly associated with woody hosts in the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Molecular Plant Pathology 17, 1409-1424.

Elliot, M., Schlenzig, A.,Harris, C.M.,  Meagher, T.R., Green, S. (2015). An improved method for the qPCR detection of three Phytophthora spp. in forest and woodland soils in northern Britain. Forest Pathology 45, 537-539.

Green, S., Elliot, M., Armstrong, A., Hendry, S.J. (2015). Phytophthora austrocedrae emerges as a serious threat to juniper (Juniperus communis) in Britain. Plant Pathology 64, 456-466.

Mulholland, V., Elliot, M., Green¸ S. (2015). Diagnostics of tree diseases caused by Phytophthora species. Pp 59-74 In: Plant Pathology Techniques and Protocols, Second Edition. C. Lacomme (ed). Methods in Molecular Biology. Humana Press.

Laue, B.E., Steele, H., Green, S. (2014). Survival, cold tolerance and seasonality of infection of European horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) by Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi. Plant Pathology 63, 1417-1425.

Nowell, R.W., Green, S., Laue, B.E., Sharp, P.M. (2014). The extent of genome flux and its role in the differentiation of bacterial lineages. Genome Biology and Evolution 6, 1514-1529.

Reignoux, S., Green, S., Ennos, R. (2014). Molecular identification and relative abundance of cryptic Lophodermium species in natural populations of Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris L. Fungal Biology 118, 835-845.

Green, S., Laue, B.E., Steele, H., Nowell, R.W. (2014). Horse Chestnut Bleeding Canker. Forestry Commission Research Note 17.

Mulholland, V., Schlenzig, A., MacAskill, G.A., Green, S. (2013). Development of a quantitative real-time PCR assay for the detection of Phytophthora austrocedrae, an emerging pathogen in Britain. Forest Pathology 43, 513-517.

Green, S., Laue, B.E., Nowell, R., Steele, H. (2013). Horse chestnut bleeding canker – a 21st Century tree pathogen. Pp 783-794 In: T. Fenning (ed.), Challenges and Opportunities for the World’s Forests in the 21st Century, Forestry Sciences 81, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-7076-8_35.

Brasier, C.M., Franceschini, S, Vettraino, A.M., Hansen, E.M., Green, S., Robin, C., Webber, J.F., Vannini, A. (2012). Four phenotypically distinct lineages in Phytophthora lateralis. Fungal Biology 116, 1232-1249.

Green, S., Hendry, S.J., MacAskill, G.A., Laue, B.E. and Steele, H. (2012). Dieback and mortality of Juniperus communis in Britain associated with Phytophthora austrocedrae. New Disease Reports 26, 2.

Green, S., Brasier, C.M., Schlenzig, A., McCracken, A., MacAskill, G.A., Wilson, M. and Webber, J.F. (2012). The destructive invasive pathogen Phytophthora lateralis found on Chamaecyparis lawsoniana across the UK (PDF-981K). Forest Pathology 43, 19-28.

Green, S. and Webber, J.F. (2012). The emerging threat from Phytophthora to trees in Scotland. Scottish Forestry 66, 9-16.

Mulholland, V., MacAskill, G.A., Laue, B.E., Steele, H., Kenyon, D. and Green, S. (2012). Development and verification of a diagnostic assay based on EF1-alpha for the identification of Armillaria species in Northern Europe. Forest Pathology 42, 229-238.

Steele, H., Laue, B.E., MacAskill, G.A., Hendry, S.J. & Green, S. (2010). Analysis of the natural infection of European horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) by Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi. Plant Pathology 59 (6), 1005-1013.

Green, S., Studholme, D.J., Laue, B.E., Dorati, F., Lovell, H., Arnold, D., Cottrell, J.E., Bridgett, S., Blaxter, M., Huitema, E., Thwaites, R., Sharp, P.M., Jackson, R.W. and Kamoun, S. (2010). Comparative genome analysis provides insights into the evolution and adaptation of Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi on European horse chestnut. PLoS ONE 5(4): e10224. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010224

De Silva, H., Castlebury, L.A., Green, S. and Stone, J.K. (2009). Characterisation and phylogenetic relationships of Anisogramma virgultorum and A. anomala in the Diaporthales (Ascomycota). Mycological Research 113: 73-81.

Green, S., Laue, B., Fossdal, C.G., A’Hara, S. and Cottrell, J. (2009). Infection of horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) by Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi and its detection by quantitative real-time PCR. Plant Pathology 58, 731-744

Green, S. and Ray, D. (2009). Climate change: risks to forestry in Scotland due to drought and fungal disease. Forestry Commission Research Note 8. Edinburgh, Scotland.

De Silva, H, Green, S., Woodward, S. (2008). Incidence and biology of Anisogramma virgultorum on birch in Scotland. Scottish Forestry 62 (4), 22-28.

DeSilva, H., Green, S. and Woodward, S. (2008). Incidence and severity of dieback in birch plantings associated with Anisogramma virgultorum and Marssonina betulae in Scotland. Plant Pathology 57 (2): 272-279.

Green, S., Hendry, S.J. and Redfern, D.B. (2008). Drought damage to pole-stage Sitka spruce and other species in north east Scotland. Scottish Forestry 62 (3): 10-18.

Green, S. and Castlebury, L. A. (2007). Connection of Gnomonia intermedia to Discula betulina and its relationship to other taxa in the Gnomoniaceae. Mycological Research 111:62-69.

Green, S. and MacAskill, G. A. (2007). Pathogenicity of Marssonina betulae and other fungi on birch. Plant Pathology 56, 242-250.

Green, S. (2005). First report of Septoria betulae causing leaf spot of birch in the United Kingdom. Plant pathology 54 (4): 580.

Brown, A., Green, S. and Hendry, S. (2005). Needle diseases of pine. Forestry Commission Information Note 67. Edinburgh, Scotland.

Green, S. (2005). Birch die-back in Scotland (PDF-721K). Forestry Commission Information Note 72. Edinburgh, Scotland.

Green, S. (2004). Fungi associated with shoots of silver birch (Betula pendula) in Scotland. Mycological Research 108 (11): 1327-1336.

Green, S., Peng, G., Connolly, T. and Boyetchko, S. M. (2004). Effect of moisture and temperature on disease of green foxtail caused by Drechslera gigantea and Pyricularia setariae. Plant Disease 88 (6): 605-612.

Green, S. (2003). A review of the potential for the use of bioherbicides to control forest weeds in the UK. Forestry 76 (3): 285-298.