07 June 2022
Dr Jenna Ross receives OBE
DOCTOR Jenna Ross, a Nuffield Farming Scholar, Oxford Farming Conference Director, Lantra Scotland Industry Champion, STEM Ambassador and award-winning scientist, has received an OBE in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Honours list for her contribution to agriculture and science.
Growing up in Tarland, Aberdeenshire, on her family farm, Jenna has dedicated her career to finding innovative solutions in agriculture. With a PhD in Environmental Science, focused on developing biological control agents for molluscs (slugs and snails), she is now a world-renowned malacologist and nematologist and hugely active both in the farming and scientific community.
In 2017, Jenna was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship and spent 26 weeks travelling the world gathering data about slugs, and studying their economic risk, exploring monitoring systems, and investigating existing and future control options. The findings of her study, sponsored by AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds and RHASS, were published in her report, “Riding the Slime Wave: Gathering Global Data on Slug Control”. Since finishing her studies, Jenna remains active in the Trust, serving as past Secretary for Nuffield Scotland and is now the current Chair of the Scotland Regional group, where she works to recruit new Scholars and promote Nuffield within the industry.
Jenna is particularly passionate about inspiring the next generation through her roles as a STEM Ambassador and Lantra Scotland Industry Champion. She is also a voluntary director for the Oxford Farming Conference, one of the leading international conferences held in the UK for farming and agribusiness. In addition to helping shape the event’s agenda, she leads on the Under 30 Scholar Programme, which supports up to 60 scholars annually, developing their vision and careers in agriculture. This includes offering them networking, media, EDI and leadership training, as well as attendance at the event in January.
Commenting on the accolade, Jenna said: “I am hugely shocked and massively honoured to receive an OBE. Through my own career I have been fortunate enough to experience so many wonderful opportunities within agriculture and science, helping broaden my knowledge and network. I am very much looking forward to using my OBE to help positively champion our amazing industry and all it has to offer now, and in the future.”
Aside from her current outreach activities within agriculture, Jenna is also highly proactive in her role on leading international development for UK agri-tech innovation centre, Crop Health and Protection (CHAP).
Here her work includes overseeing innovation projects such as SlugBot – an autonomous slug monitoring and bio-molluscicide treatment system. Other highlights include driving two projects to improve agronomy and crop production in India and managing a UK-Kenya collaboration to help growers overcome potato cyst nematode.
She also works to develop strategic international collaborations to highlight the important work of CHAP and the wider UK agri-tech sector to key stakeholders across the world. Jenna is highly published and has presented many times at leading industry events and conferences such as REAP, AHDB, Nuffield Farming, CARAS, Lantra, IOBC, SIP and ICN to name a few, and will be speaking at the upcoming Cereals event on June 9.
Jenna said: “It’s a privilege to get up every morning and do something that I truly love. Coming from generations of farmers on both sides of my family means that agriculture well and truly flows through my blood. It’s an honour to work with so many amazing organisations in the sector, and of course, as a scientist, to develop game changing innovative and sustainable solutions for agriculture that deliver economic, environmental and societal impact.”