Professor Gerry Saddler

Chief Plant Health Officer for Scotland
and Head of SASA

Telephone Number
+44(0)131 244 8925

Professor Gerry Saddler


Research interests/Areas of expertise

  • Epidemiology, characterisation and detection of plant pathogenic bacteria, particularly those affecting potato.
  • Epidemiology and control of potato mop top virus.
  • Bacterial systematics.


  • I joined SASA in 2001 to head the Diagnostics & Molecular Biology Branch (DMB), taking over responsibility for Diagnostics and Analytical Services (DAS) Branches in 2008. I became Head of Potato and Plant Health in 2014 with responsibility for 4 scientific Branches; Diagnostics, Wildlife & Molecular Biology (DWMB), Plant Biosecurity & Inspections, Potato and Virology & Zoology Branches.
  • I have worked on plant pathogenic bacteria affecting potato for more than 20 years, previously with CABI. I have worked extensively on potato brown rot (Ralstonia solanacearum), potato ring rot (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus) and the blackleg pathogens; Dickeya solani and Pectobacterium atrosepticum.
  • I serve as a technical adviser to policy colleagues within the Scottish Government, on bacterial diseases and their control and am a member of the International Society for Plant Pathology's Committee on the Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria (
  • I was awarded an Honorary Professorship by Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, in April 2014.