Helen is responsible for managing and delivering NIAB’s laboratory services work, including the work of the OSTS.
The team provides scientifically driven diagnostic services to help NIAB’s customers manage and develop their businesses, covering four main areas: biochemistry – quality traits including VCU testing in cereals and oilseeds, seed testing (via OSTS), pathogen diagnostics – testing for seed-borne disease, soil testing for nematodes and potato virus testing, and technical services – variety identification of cereals and potatoes. This includes providing competitive seed and plant testing services to UK farmers and agronomists.
The OSTS, established in 1917, at NIAB is designated by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as an Official Seed Testing Laboratory for England and Wales and is contracted to carry out ISTA tests for customers on behalf of APHA. To enable the OSTS to carry out this function the laboratory at Cambridge is accredited and audited by the International Seed Testing Association.