Sue Hartley’s research focusses on using natural plant defences as a sustainable means of crop protection. She studied Biochemistry at the University of Oxford and has a PhD in Ecology from the University of York.
She joined the University of Sussex in 2001, where she began her research on the use of silicon to increase crop resilience to drought, disease and insect pests. In 2010 she moved back to the University of York to become Director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, an innovative research partnership bringing together leading researchers from a broad range of disciplines to tackle key global challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and threats to food security.
Sue is the author of over 130 publications, has been awarded research grants totalling almost £6M and trained over 30 PhD students. She is a member of the BBSRC Strategic Advisory Panel on Agriculture and Food Security, Chair of the BBSRC/NERC/ESRC Sustainable Agriculture Research Innovation Club and Acting Director of the £16M Hefche-funded N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme.
In 2009 she delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, only the 4th woman to do since they were started in 1825. She is a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and President of the British Ecological Society.