Ruth Mitchell

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Plant Soil Ecologist
James Hutton Institute

Ruth is a plant/soil research scientist at the James Hutton Institute with 20 years’ experience of working on a wide range of applied ecological research projects.  Her research focuses the impact of pressures such as grazing, pollution, land management and plant diseases on above and below ground biodiversity. Over the last five years Ruth and her team have developed expertise in assessing the wider ecological impacts of declines in plant health (notably ash dieback and oak decline) on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.  In particular the team identify which other species only or primarily use the plant species impacted by the disease and if the plant species which may replace the diseased species provide suitable ecological niches for the same suite of biodiversity.  Ultimately the aim has been to provide practical advice to mitigate, as far as possible, the adverse impacts of plant diseases on the wider environment.