Valerie Cockerell

Head of Official Seed Testing Station for Scotland

Telephone Number
+44(0)131 244 8890

Valerie Cockerell


Research interests/Areas of expertise

  • The provision of seed testing services and supervision of licensed seed testing stations; UK training of seed analysts and seed samplers; seed quality research and development; and strategic planning of seed testing services.
  • Promotion of International method validation and proficiency testing through collaboration with the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA). I attend ISTA Meetings ensuring that Scotland’s growers are supported by the most appropriatte, robust and cost effective methodolgy to determine seed quality. 
  • Epidemiology and control of seed-borne pathogens.


  • I joined SASA in 1979 as Seed Analyst, at the same time completed a BSc (Hons.) Life Sciences (Microbiology & Biochemistry), after a short spell as a Pesticide Usage Surveyor, I was promoted to Senior Seed Analyst: Seed Health in 1987 and to Seed Pathologist in 1990.  With over 30 years of experience of seed testing I now lead the OSTS as Chief Officer and Head.
  • As Quality Manger of the OSTS I ensured our successful accreditation (ISO 17025) to both ISTA and UKAS in 1998 and maintenance of those accreditations since.
  • My experience of seed health testing and seed pathology led to my nomination as Chair of the ISTA Seed Health Committee from 2004-2007, of which I now participate as Vice-chair.