Shelagh McCartan, BSc, MSc, PhD

Seed Scientist and Work Area Leader for Plant Production

Shelagh McCartanEmail:

Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5600
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5683
Fax: +44 (0)1420 23653

Forest Research
Alice Holt Lodge
Surrey GU10 4LH

Shelagh joined Forest Research in 2006 as a Seed scientist. She completed a PhD at the University of Natal, South Africa.

Current role

Seed Scientist Work Area Leader for Plant Production

Shelagh’s main areas of research are:

  • processing, testing, stratifying and storing tree seeds to improve cost efficiency and effectiveness of nursery plant production;
  • characterise provenances with regards to assisted migration and climate change.

She also has been involved in various collaborative projects such as the UK National Tree Seed Project where she co-ordinated the collection of juniper berries across England, Scotland and Wales on behalf of the RBG Kew.

Current projects

  • Plant Production – this project is funded by Forestry Commission, Lead Investigator.
  • Hot-water treatment of ash fruits – this project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 635646; Research Scientist.  

Other affiliations and responsibilities

  • Deputy Co-ordinator of the IUFRO 2.09.00 - Tree seed, physiology and biotechnology.
  • Co-ordinator of the IUFRO WG 2.09.03 – Seed physiology and technology.

Main recent publications

McCartan, S.A., Peace. A.J., Gosling, P.G., & Forster, J. (2017). Secondary dormancy imposition in pre-chilled, dried seeds of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) during storage.  Seed Science and Technology 45: 296-305.

McCartan, S.A. & Parratt, M.J. (2016) Common juniper in Britain: a review of the challenges facing this iconic species. Scottish Forestry 70(2): 34-40.

Shelagh A. McCartan, Joan F. Webber and Richard L. Jinks. (2015) Hot-water treatment as a possible method for eradicating Chalara fraxinea (Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus) infection from ash fruits (Fraxinus excelsior L). Quarterly Journal of Forestry  109, 18-23.

Shelagh A. McCartan and Richard L. Jinks (2015) Upgrading Seed Lots of European Silver Fir (Abies alba Mill.) Using Imbibition-Drying-Separation. Tree Planters' Notes 58(2): 21-27.

Midmore, E. K., McCartan, S. A., Jinks, R. L. & Cahalan, C. M. (2015). Using thermal time models to predict germination of five provenances of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) in southern England. Silva Fennica vol. 49(2): 1-12.

McCartan, S.A., Jinks, R.L. & Barsoum, N. (2015) Using thermal time models to predict the impact of assisted migration on the synchronization of germination and shoot emergence of oak (Quercus robur L.). Annals of Forest Science 72:479–487. DOI 10.1007/s13595-014-0454-5

McCartan, S.A. & Gosling, P.G. (2013) Guidelines for seed collection and stratification of common juniper (Juniperus communis L.). Tree planters notes 56:25-29.

Trade journal and newsletter articles
McCartan, S.A (2014). The UK National Tree Seed Project: safeguarding juniper for future generations. Sanctuary: the Ministry of Defence Sustainability Magazine 43: 54-55.

McCartan, S.A. (2013). 4-traders 12/12/2013 Forestry Commission in the media: protecting juniper from a berry uncertain future.

McCartan, S.A. (2013). news12/12/2013 Forestry Commission in the media: protecting juniper from a berry uncertain future. www:

McCartan, S. A. (2013).  Radio Interview with BBC Wiltshire in December2013. ‘Wild about Wiltshire’. A recorded radio interview with Marie Lennon on BBC Wiltshire.

McCartan, S.A. (2014) Juniper Management Workshop, 13th May 2014. Forest Research, Alice Holt, Farnham, Surrey, 2014

McCartan, S.A. (2017) 'Bad seed is robbery of a worst kind....' Keynote speaker at IUFRO Seed Orchard (WG 2.09.01), Sweden (4-6 September).