Professor Sue Hartley

Professor Sue Hartley

Professor of Ecology, University of York, UK

Sue Hartley is Professor of Ecology at the University of York, UK and Director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute. She is a community ecologist recognised internationally for her work on the interactions between organisms, particularly plants and their herbivores. She has studied plant-herbivore interactions from the sub-arctic to the tropical rainforest, published over 130 papers and trained over 30 PhD students. Currently, her research is focussed on using natural plant defences, particularly silicon, as a sustainable way to protect crops against pests.

Sue 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 a member of the BBSRC’s Strategic Advisory Panel on Agriculture and Food Security and Chair of their Sustainable Agriculture Research Innovation Club. 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.

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