Dr Jon Pickup

Head of Virology & Zoology

Telephone Number
+44(0)131 244 8859

Dr Jon Pickup


Research interests/Areas of expertise

  • Aphids and their transmission of potato viruses
  • European Union Control Directive on Potato Cyst Nematodes


  • I graduated in Zoology from Oxford University in 1979 and went on to gain my Ph.D in Entomology from Liverpool University, studying the gut contents of damselfly larvae.
  • In 1984 I was appointed to a research post working for the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, spending 28 months on Signy Island in the South Orkney Islands to investigate the survival strategies of nematode worms in a cold and dry environment.
  • I started as a Nematologist/Entomologist at the then Agricultural Scientific Services of the Scottish Office, located at East Craigs in 1990. 
  • My job at SASA involves managing service delivery for diagnostic laboratories providing information on the presence of potato cyst nematodes in soil samples prior to seed potato production, the incidence of aphids in suction trap catches and the amount of potato viruses in seed potato crops.  We also carry out surveillance work regarding pests of plant health significance, provide diagnoses of bee diseases and provide advice to the Scottish Government’s policy makers.