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UCAB undergraduate awarded RHS summer studentship

Date: 3rd March 2021

Hazel Irving, an FdSc Arboriculture with Urban Forestry student at Askham Bryan College’s University Centre Askham Bryan (UCAB), has been awarded the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Plant Health Summer Studentship.

The fully-funded studentship runs for eight weeks at RHS Wisley in Woking and offers the opportunity for Hazel to further her training and research on a project that investigates environmental influences on powdery mildew disease of garden plants. Her area of study has increasingly gained attention as an issue in the UK.  

Hazel will be supervised by plant pathologists Dr Liz Beal and Dr Matthew Cromey at RHS Wisley.

Dr Jassy Drakulic, Plant Pathologist at RHS Wisley and RHS Plant Health Undergraduate Summer Studentships Coordinator, says “Hazel was selected because she demonstrated a deep understanding of scientific principles as well as an appreciation for the importance of the context of any disease situation. The academic background provided by her studies at Askham Bryan College along with her passion for plants and plant health means she is well-equipped to excel in the project. Hazel and her supervisors will be seeking funding from the British Mycological Society (BMS) and reports on the project will be submitted to the RHS and the BMS. We are looking forward to working with Hazel and hope that she will inspire future students to apply to our studentship opportunity.”

Hazel says, “I joined UCAB at an interesting time as there was a great deal of talk about biosecurity in the world of arboriculture and horticulture. Last year marked ‘International Year of Plant Health’ which has since been extended into 2021 due to the pandemic.  Learning about plant health and biosecurity inspired me to pursue a career in phytopathology. This summer programme will allow me to expand my technical skills as a researcher, develop my academic writing, and most importantly, allow me to experience working in the field of plant health and present my work to the scientists at Wisley. From there, I hope to then progress this work onto a BSc in Applied Horticulture at UCAB in September.”

Information about the RHS summer studentship can be found at

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Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277