School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

Staff Interviews

  • Ankush Prashar

    Ankush Prashar

    Dr Ankush Prashar was born in Punjab in north India.  Growing up there he loved working on his uncle’s farm, driving tractors and developing practical agricultural skills.  A degree in agriculture and honours in soil science seemed like a natural step (after changing his mind from Air force pilot and then medicine), but he had no thoughts of leaving his home country at that stage.  Then a conversation with his father changed everything and now he is Lecturer in Crop Science at Newcastle.  In an interview for the website he explains how it all happened.

    Read the Ankush Prashar Interview (PDF:70KB)

  • William Willats

    Professor of Molecular Agri-Diagnostics

    In an interview for the website Professor William Willats explains why he finds the molecular structure of plants so fascinating and how they adapt to changing circumstances, both as individuals and species.

    He has a particular interest in the structure of plant cells walls and reveals how important these are for everyday products that we take for granted, including cotton, linen, wood, beer, and all kinds of processed foods.

    As the new Professor of Molecular Agri-Diagnostics, he is looking forward to getting out of the lab and having the opportunity to get to grips with “real life” agricultural production at the University’s two farms.

    Read the full Prof. William Willats interview (PDF: 184KB)

  • Miguel Velazquez

    Miguel Velazquez

    Lecturer in Reproductive Physiology

    Miguel Velazquez comes originally from a small island in the south of Mexico. He gained his first degree in veterinary medicine at the Autonomous University of Yucatan. Now settled with his family in the Tyne Valley, Miguel is enthusiastic, not only about his research, but about the North East.

    Read the Miguel Velazquez interview (PDF: 72KB )

  • Helen Adamson

    Helen Adamson

    Teaching Fellow

    Helen studied environmental biology at Liverpool University, plays the fiddle and is a champion clog dancer!

    Read the Helen Adamson interview (PDF: 63KB)

  • Michael Wallace

    Senior Lecturer in Farm Business Management

    Michael is looking forward to the possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration at Newcastle, with both natural and social scientists.

    Read the Michael Wallace interview (PDF: 64KB)

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    Professor Rob Edwards

    Head of School

    Professor Rob Edwards, new Head of the School, talks about some of the topics that he would like us to be exploring over the next few years.

    Read the Rob Edwards interview (PDF: 60KB)

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    Professor Lynn Frewer

    Professor of Food & Society

    Lynn Frewer gives an insight into her current projects, from attitudes to GM technology to consumer behaviour regarding pesticides.

    Read the Lynn Frewer interview (Word doc: 22KB)

  • Gavin Stewart

    Lecturer in Evidence Synthesis

    Gavin Stewart sees his move to Newcastle as a unique opportunity to put all his statistical and research synthesis expertise to work. 

    Read the Gavin Stewart interview (Word doc: 95KB)


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    Dr Diogo Souza Monteiro

    Senior Lecturer in Business Management

    Diogo is excited about the possibilities that Newcastle has to offer.

    Read the Diogo Souza Montiero interview (Word doc: 1.7MB)

  • James Taylor

    Senior Lecturer in Precision Crop Agriculture

    James knows a lot about growing vines, but his expertise extends way beyond that, and he will be bringing the latest thinking on precision agriculture.

    Read the James Taylor interview (PDF: 229KB)

  • Luca Panzone

    Lecturer in Consumer Behaviour

    Luca says that many of our buying decisions seem irrational – but only because we don’t really understand the basis on which we are making them.

    Read the Luca Panzone interview (PDF: 228KB)

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    Carmen Hubbard

    Lecturer in Rural Economy

    Carmen hopes to contribute to teaching in economics of agribusiness and share her experience as a researcher.

    Read the Carmen Hubbard interview (PDF: 223KB)

  • Simon Peacock

    Simon Peacock

    I’m particularly excited to be managing the Palace Leas meadow hay plots at Cockle Park,” he said.  “I would like to develop further my own interest in air pollution and the implications for food security, and apply some of those ideas to the Palace Leas project.

    Read the Simon Peacock interview. (PDF 29.9KB)

  • Catherine Douglas picture for interview

    Catherine Douglas

    Teaching and Scholarship Lecturer

    Catherine is a graduate of Newcastle University, doing both her BSc and PhD in the school. Cath says that the pinnacle of her research career to date has been winning the Ig Nobel Prize for her work.

    Read the Catherine Douglas full interview (7.79KB)

  • Mark Reed Profile Picture

    Mark Reed

    Mark Reed has taken up the brand new post of N8 Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation.  This post is part of the N8 Agri-Food Resilience Programme (N8 AgriFood) which is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) catalyst fund and by the N8 universities – the eight key research intensive universities across the North of England.  

    Read the full Mark Reed Staff Interview (PDF:184KB)