Personal profile

Research interests

The main areas of research are plant pathology  with a particular interest in diseases of horticultural crops,and applied microbiology specializing in aspects on biodegradation. The current plant pathology projects include the effect of silicon on limiting powdery mildew of strawberries, and the development and testing of a disease prediction system for strawberry powdery mildew designed to control the disease with reduced fungicide inputs to make strawberry production more sustainable.

Teaching specialisms

Plant pathology both at undergraduate and postgraduate level

mycology at undergraduate level

plant ecology and conservation management

Commercial and public engagement

Research grants have been won from MAAF, defra and HDC. Current commercial support is from Omex, Kings Lynn and H and H Duncalfe , Wisbech and orionft.

Nuffield Foundation sixth form  summer bursary students have worked in the plant pathology group for the last 15 years, and the lecture " Keep the fun in fungi' has been regularly given to primary schools under the auspices of the University  of Hertfordshire : Professor Fluffy programme

Commercial and public engagement

2010, awarded VC award for Educational engagement with Business and the Professions

2012, awarded MBE for services to Higher Education at the University of Hertfordshire and the community in St Albans

2012, Honorary Professor Inner Mongolia Academy of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, China 

2016, invited speaker at the 8th International Strawberry Symposium in Quebec, Canada

2017, invited speaker at the 59th Annual Horticulture Growers’ Short Course, Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association, British Columbia, Canada

2018-2019, two growers' workshops on sustainable strawberry production were successfully run in England and Scottland

April 2019-March 2020, Ceres funding for on-farm validation of the real-time prediction system for strawberry powdery mildew, which took place on 8 commercial sites in England and Scotland

February 2020, invited speaker at Dundee Conference-Environmental Management & Crop Production, The Association for Crop Protection in Northern Britain

May 2020, the prediciton system was licensed and released, and is available to purchase from Agri-tech Services website


Dr Avice Hall obtained her BSC in Botany and Zoology from the University of Leicester in 1966 and then continued her studies at the University of Exeter where she obtained an MSc in Plant pathology and then a PhD studying clubroot of Crucifers. After a short period of temporary work as a plant pathologist  at what was then NAAS at Woodthorne, Wolverhampton , she started lecturing in Plant pathology at the then Hatfield Polytechnic, where she has stayed  as the institution developed, expanded and became the University of Hertfordshire  over  the last 40+ years.   Her lecturing covers mycology ( including fungal diseases of humans) , mycological ecology, plant pathology and the effect of diseases in semi natural plant communities. From 1991 to 2001 she also lectured in plant pathology  to all 3 levels of  the BSc horticulture degrees at Writtle Agricultural college . This gave her a good understanding of the horticultural industry which complemented her understanding of arable agriculture.
Research interests in the last 15 to 20 years have included, phoma stem canker of oil seed rape, germination of woody seeds including Rosa laxa (HDC funded), rhododendron powdery mildew, rose blackspot (MAAF funded) and currently, powdery mildew on strawberries (HDC funded).
In 2010 she was awarded a Vice Chancellors award for ‘Educational engagement with business and the profession’ and in 2012 she was awarded an MBE for her contribution to higher education at the University of Hertfordshire and the community in St Albans.She is continuing with her research interests on strawberry powdery mildew, and is consultant on this disease in collaboration with East Malling Research on SF157 an AHDB project from 2015 to 2020. In 2019-2019, she was  working in collaboration with Agre-tech Services organised two growers' workshops on sustainable strawberry production in England and Scotland. She was funded by Ceres in 2019-2020 for on-farm validation of the prediction system for strawberry powdery mildew on farms in England and Scotland. The prediction system was licensed and released in May 2020. In addition she is recieving funds from Orionft for work on a silicon nutrient which reduces the epidemic development of strawberry powdery mildew.

External positions

Honorary Membership, The British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP)


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