Dr David Kenyon

Head of Diagnostics, Wildlife & Molecular Biology

Telephone Number
+44(0)131 244 8878


Research interests/Areas of expertise

  • The development of novel diagnostics for the detection of plant pathogens and their application in the study disease development in the environment.
  • Use of molecular methods in wildlife crime forensics.
  • Molecular nematology focusing on Ditylenchus dipsaci and PCN.
  • Deployment of molecular methods to replace routiene visual examination of samples.
  • Scottish Government representative in the Euphresco network
  • Insect vectored bacterial diseases Liberibacter solanacearum and Xylella fastidiosa
  • Novel approaches to disease management (biofumigation, trap cropping, suppressive microbes)
  • Molecular soil ecology

Senior Staff / Project Leads

Emma Back – Project Leader - Euphresco
Gill Hartley – Senior Wildlife Biologist
Katherine Lester - Project Leader - Euphresco
Vince Mulholland – Senior Molecular Biologist
Alex Reid – Senior Molecular Biologist
Jason Sumner-Kalkun – Project Leader – Psyllids & Liberibacter
Lucy Webster – Wildlife DNA Forensics


  • Joined SASA in 2008 as Head of Diagnostics, Wildlife & Molecular Biology. In addition to my management responsibilities I am involved in a number of research consortium working on storage rots of potatoes, Pectobacterium & Dickeya spp., bee health, wildlife crime as well as contract research for commercial companies. 
  • 1997 – 2008. Team leader, broadleaved crops and diagnostics at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB). In addition to Defra and HGCA funded trial programmes we also conduct a range of GEP efficacy trials for agrochemical companies with a recognised specialism in seed-borne diseases. The groups research programme was classified under two central themes of “Disease Resistance & Pathogen Characterisation” and “Diagnostics”.
  • 1994 – 1997. Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, SAC. Study of the inducible resistance reaction to Erysiphe sp. in Rhododendron.
  • 1991 – 1994. PhD “The biology and pathogenic variation of Erysiphe sp. on Rhododendron” University of Strathclyde / Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.