Sandra Denman, BSc, HDE, MSc, PhD

Project Leader and Senior Research Scientist

Sandra Denman

Email: sandra.denman@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5600
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5640
Fax: +44 (0)1420 23653

Address:
Forest Research
Alice Holt Lodge
Farnham
Surrey GU10 4LH
UK

Sandra was awarded a BSc in Botany and Environmental and Geographic Science at the University of Cape Town in 1987. She obtained both an MSc (Agric) cum laude in Plant Pathology (March 1992), and a PhD in Plant Pathology (2002) at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Her first post as a junior research scientist was at the Plant Protection Research Institute in Stellenbosch where her research focus was on soilborne plant diseases (1989-1995). From 1996-2002 she lectured Plant Pathology at Stellenbosch University and headed a research programme on soilborne and canker diseases of commercially cultivated native plants and agricultural crops in the Western Cape. In 2003 Sandra joined Forest Research as a pathologist specialising on Phytophthora diseases and oak declines.

Current roles

  • Project Manager and Senior Research Scientist, in the Advice and Scientific Support for Tree Health Programme
  • Leader of a multidisciplinary team carrying out research on Acute Oak Decline
  • Project manager of a multidisciplinary team carrying out research on Chronic Oak Decline (COD) 
  • Continued research activity on Phytophthora.

Current programme: Advice and Scientific Support for Tree Health

Project 1: Acute oak decline (AOD)

Responsible for:

  • Planning and leading the research project
  • Managing an integrated multidisciplinary team situated at various national and international venues
  • Identifying knowledge gaps, developing research strategies and shaping research direction
  • Obtaining external funding for research on AOD in the UK (>£100 K.p.a.)
  • Sourcing required skills
  • Carrying out research
  • Collating, reporting and publishing findings
  • Transferring information to the sector, interested parties, local authorities, tree groups and charities in the UK.

Current research foci in the AOD project:

  • Aetiology (cause) and pathology of AOD
  • Taxonomy of organisms associated with AOD including entomological, bacteriological and mycological studies
  • Developing rapid diagnostics
  • Epidemiology including infection pathways, analyses of spatial aspects of ‘within and between patch’ distributions
  • Mapping (Climex mapping included) and monitoring selected sites
  • Managing reports on the distribution of AOD in the UK
  • Initiating AOD management research 
  • Providing management advice. 

Project 2: Chronic oak decline (COD)

Responsible for:

  • Managing and leading the research project
  • Working with and integrating a multidisciplinary team
  • Carrying out research
  • Collating, reporting and publishing findings
  • Transferring information to the sector, interested parties, local authorities, tree groups and charities in the UK.

Current research foci in the COD project:

  • Comparative studies at a single site investigating climatic, dendrochronology and pathology of healthy and declining oak
  • Identifying significant environmental effects (e.g. drought) and determining dendrochronological signatures indicating those events
  • Linkages between the environmental cues, dendrochronology, root pathogens and tree condition
  • Linkages to AOD.

Project 3: Phytophthora research

Current research foci in the Phytophthora project:

  • Phytophthora tree pathogens – pathology, taxonomy and management
  • Training
  • Management advice.

Affiliations

Societies:

  • British Mycological Society
  • British Society for Plant Pathology
  • South African Society for Plant Pathology
  • American Phytopathological Society
  • Australasian Phytopathological Society

Current international research collaboration:

  • CBS (Netherlands)
  • Forest and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI, South Africa)
  • Ghent University (Belgium)
  • UPM-INIA, Madrid (Spain)
  • University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • USDA Forest Services (USA)

Current national research collaboration:

  • Bangor University
  • Fera
  • Imperial College, London
  • University of West England.

Achievements

  • Initiator of research on Acute Oak Decline (AOD) in the UK
  • Obtained external funding (>£100 K.p.a.) for AOD research
  • Established of AOD Consortium and Interest Group includes national Tree Groups, Charities, Estates, Tree Professionals and members of the public; Regular newsletters and research update meetings
  • Secured funding, appointed post doctoral research scientist, defined research objectives and goals (AOD) - University of West England
  • Secured funding, appointed PhD student, defined research objectives, actively involved in supervision and training (AOD) - Imperial College, London
  • Initiated research collaboration and secured funding in niche AOD ecology using molecular tools - Bangor University
  • Radio interviews (E.g. BBC Radio 4 – ‘You and Yours’ programme) and Television interviews (E.g. BBC 1 – ‘Country File’, ‘The One show’ etc)
  • Advisor to Parliamentary Enquiries (tree pathology) and the Science Select Committee on forest research
  • Participant in the Defra Action Plan workshops (2011)
  • Invited Advisor on Acute Oak Decline to HRH the Prince of Wales
  • Invited Keynote Address, Plant Health, International Protea Grower’s Association (2008)
  • British Society of Plant Pathology Travel Award (2006)
  • Invited Speaker, Symposium on Diseases of Proteaceae, ICPP, New Zealand (2003)
  • Recipient: Applied Plant Pathologist Award (2002 - The South African Society of Plant Pathology)
  • Recipient: Harry Crossley Scholarship Award, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (2000).

Research areas

  • Acute Oak Decline
  • Chronic Oak decline
  • Phytophthora


Main recent publications

Publications in peer reviewed scientific journals (2000 to present)

Scanu, B., Hunter, G.C., Linaldeddu, B.T., Franceschini, A., Maddau, L., Jung, T. and Denman S. 2014. A taxonomic re-evaluation reveals that Phytophthora cinnamomi and P. cinnamomi var. parvispora are separate species. Forest Pathology 44 (1):1–20. DOI: 10.1111/efp.12064

Denman, S., Brady, C., Kirk, S., Cleenwerck, I., De Vos, P., Venter, S., & Coutinho, T.A. (2011). Brenneria goodwinii sp. nov., a new bacterium associated with Acute Oak Decline in Britain. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (In press)

Brady, C., Cleenwerck, I., Denman, S., Venter, S., Rodríguez-Palenzuela, P, Coutinho, T.A. De Vos, P. (2011) Proposal to reclassify Brenneria quercina (Hildebrand & Schroth 1967) Hauben et al. 1999 into a novel genus, Lonsdalea gen. nov., as Lonsdalea quercina comb. nov., descriptions of Lonsdalea quercina subsp. quercina comb. nov., Lonsdalea quercina subsp. iberica subsp. nov. and Lonsdalea quercina subsp. britannica subsp. nov., emendation of the description of the genus Brenneria, reclassification of Dickeya dadantii as Dickeya dieffenbachiae subsp. dadantii comb. nov., and emendation of the description of Dickeya dieffenbachiae. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology doi:10.1099/ijs.0.035055-0

Crous, P.W., Summerell, B.A., Swart, L., Denman, S., Taylor, J.E., Bezuidenhout, C.M., Palm, M.E., Marincowitz, S. & Groenewald J.Z. (2011).  Fungal pathogens of Proteaceae. Persoonia 27: 20–45.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3767/003158511X606239

Brady, C., Denman, S., Kirk, S.A., Venter, S., Rodríguez-Palenzuela, P., & Coutinho, T. (2010). Description of Gibbsiella quercinecans gen. nov., sp. nov., associated with Acute Oak Decline.  Systematic and Applied Microbiology 33: 444–450.

Bezuidenhout, C.M., Denman, S., Kirk, S.A., Botha, W.J., Mostert, L. & Mcleod A. (2010). Phytophthora taxa associated with cultivated Agathosma, with emphasis on the P. citricola complex and P. capensis sp. nov. Persoonia 25: 32–49.

Denman, S., Kirk, S.A., Moralejo, E. & Webber J.F. (2009). Phytophthora ramorum and P. kernoviae on naturally infected asymptomatic foliage.  EPPO Bulletin 39:105–111.

Denman, S., Rose, J., & Slippers, B. (2009). Phytophthora pseudosyringae found on European beech and hornbeam trees in the UK. In: Proceedings of the fourth meeting of the IUFRO Working Party S07.02.09: Phytophthoras in forests and natural ecosystems (eds Goheen, E.M.; Frankel, S.J.), USDAFS Pacific South-west: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-221. 273–280. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station.

Denman, S.; Kirk, S.A.., & Whybrow, A. (2009). Investigating the potential of disease control practices for integrated management of Phytophthora kernoviae on mature magnolias in the United Kingdom.  In: Phytophthoras in forests and natural ecosystems: proceedings of the fourth meeting of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Working Party S07.02.09, Monterey, California, 26 to 31 August 2007, E M Goheen and S J Frankel (Technical Coordinators). USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Albany, California, General Technical Report PSW-GTR-221, 246–247.

Van Schoor, L., Denman, S., Cook, N.C.  (2009). Characterisation of apple replant disease under South African conditions and potential biological management strategies.  Scientia Horticulturae. 119 (2) 153–162. 10.1016/j.scienta.2008.07.032

Zondo, P.T., Denman, S. & Labuschagne, I.F.  (2007). The effect of season and aggressiveness of isolates on the response of two apple rootstocks to Phytophthora cactorum infection. Australasian Plant Pathology 36: 240–244.

Brown, AV., Brasier, C., Denman, S. Rose, J., Kirk, S., & Webber, J.F.  (2006). Tree hosts as aerial Phytophthora infections with particular reference to P. ramorum and P. kernoviae at two UK survey sites.  In: Progress in Research on Phytophthora Diseases of Forest Trees (Proceedings of the IUFRO conference on Phytophthora pathogens of trees, Freising, 11–17 September 2004), eds. C. Brasier, T. Jung and W. Oβwald, pp. 122-125.

Denman, S., Orton, E., Kirk, S.A. & Brasier, C.M.  (2006). Sporulation potential of Phytophthora ramorum on detached leaves of some susceptible UK trees in vitro.  In: Progress in Research on Phytophthora Diseases of Forest Trees (Proceedings of the IUFRO conference on Phytophthora pathogens of trees, Freising, 11–17 September 2004), eds. C. Brasier, T. Jung and W. Oβwald, pp. 75-78-125.

Webber, J.F.; Rose, J. & Denman, S.  (2006). Tree hosts of aerial Phytophthora infections with particular reference to P. ramorum and P. kernoviae at two UK survey sites. In: Progress in research on Phytophthora diseases of forest trees. Proceedings of the Third International IUFRO Working Party S07.02.09 meeting at Freising, Germany, 11 to 18 September 2004, edited by C M Brasier, T Jung and W Oswald. 2006

Denman, S., Kirk, S.A., Whybrow, A., Orton, E & Webber, J.F.  (2006). Phytophthora kernoviae and P. ramorum: host susceptibility and sporulation potential on foliage of susceptible trees.  EPPO Bulletin 36:373-376.

Denman, S., Moralejo, E., Kirk, S.A., Orton, E. & Webber, J.F.  (2006).  Sporulation of Phytophthora kernoviae and P. ramorum on asymptomatic foliage.  Phytopathology (June Supplement) 96:S28 (Abstract).

Lubbe, C.M., Denman, S., Lamprecht, S. C. & Crous, P. W. (2006).  Pathogenicity of Colletotrichum species to Protea cultivars. Australasian Plant Pathology 35: 37–41.

Denman, S., Kirk, S.A., Brasier, C.M. & Webber, J.F.  (2005). In vitro Leaf Inoculation Studies as an Indication of Tree Foliage Susceptibility to Phytophthora ramorum in the UK.  Plant Pathology 54: 512–521.

Denman, S., Kirk, S.A., Brasier, C.M., Hughes, K.J.D., Griffin, R. & Webber, J.F.  (2005). Phytophthora ramorum attacks leaves of Castanea sativa.  Pathology Plant Pathology 54: 581

Denman, S., Kirk, S.A., Brasier, C.M., Hughes, K.J.D., Barton, V.C., Griffin, R. & Webber, J.F.  (2005). Phytophthora ramorum on Quercus ilex in the UK.  Plant Disease 89: 1241.

Brasier, C.M., Kirk, S.A., Denman, S. Rose, J. & Beales, P.A. (2005).  Phytophthora kernoviae sp. nov., an invasive pathogen causing bleeding stem lesions on forest trees and foliar necrosis of ornamentals in Britain.  Mycological Research 109: 853–859.

Van Coller, G.J., Denman, S., Groenewald, J.Z., Lamprecht, S.C. & Crous, P.W. (2005).  A New Perspective on Soilborne Diseases of Grapevines in Nurseries.  Winelands 11: 101–105

Van Coller, G.J., Denman, S., Groenewald, J.Z., Lamprecht, S.C. & Crous, P.W. (2005).  Characterization and pathogenicity of Cylindrocladiella spp. associated with root and cutting-rot symptoms of grapevines in nurseries. Australasian Plant Pathology 34: 489–498.

Brasier, C.M., Denman, S., Brown, A.V. & Webber, J.F.  (2004).  Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum) discovered on trees in Europe.  Mycological Research 108: 1108–1110.

Brasier, C.M., Denman, S., Rose, R., Kirk, S.A., Hughes, K.J.D., Griffin, R.L., Inman, A.J. & Webber, J.F. (2004).  First report of ramorum bleeding canker on Quercus falcata, caused by Phytophthora ramorum. Plant Pathology 53: 804.

Lubbe, C.M., Denman, S., Groenewald, J.Z., Lamprecht, S.C. & Crous, P.W. (2004). Characterization of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and similar species associated with anthracnose and dieback of Proteaceae.  Mycologia 96: 1268–1279.

Denman, S., Crous, P.W., Sadie, A & Wingfield, M.J. (2004).  Evaluation of fungicides for the control of Botryosphaeria protearum on Protea magnifica in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Australasian Plant Pathology 33: 97–102.

Slippers, B., Crous, P.W., Denman, S., Coutinho, T.A., Wingfield, B.D. & Wingfield, M.J. (2004).  Combined multiple gene genealogies and phenotypic characters differentiate several species previously identified as Botryosphaeria dothidea. Mycologia. 96: 83–101.

Botha, A., Denman, S., Lamprecht, S.C., Mazzola, M. & Crous, P.W. (2003).  Characterization and pathogenicity of Rhizoctonia isolates associated with black root rot of strawberries in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Australasian Plant Pathology 2: 195–201.

Coetzee, M.P.A., Wingfield, B.D., Roux, J., Crous, P.W., Denman, S. &. Wingfield, M.J. (2003).  Discovery of two northern hemisphere Armillaria species on Proteaceae in South Africa.  Plant Pathology 52: 604–612. 

Denman, S., Crous, P.W., Slippers, B., Wingfield, B.D. & Wingfield, M.J. (2003). Circumscription of Botryosphaeria species associated with Proteaceae based on morphology and DNA sequence data. Mycologia 95: 294–307.

Lubbe, C.M., Denman, S. & Lamprecht, S.C. (2003).  Fusarium wilt of Agathosma betulina newly reported in South Africa. Australasian Plant Pathology 32: 123–124.

Mostert, L., Kang, J.-C., Crous P.W. & Denman, S. (2001).  Phomopsis saccharata sp. nov., causing a canker and die-back disease of Protea repens in South Africa. Sydowia 53: 227–235

Denman, S. & Sadie, A. (2001).  Evaluation of a stem inoculation technique for assessing resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi in Leucospermum cultivars.  Australasian Plant Pathology 30: 11–16

Denman, S. & Sadie, A. (2001).  Overview of an evaluation of a stem inoculation technique for assessing resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi in Leucospermum cultivars.  Acta Horticulturae 545: 281–285

Mcleod, A., Denman, S., Sadie, A. & Denner, F.D.N. (2001).  Characterisation of South African isolates of Phytophthora infestans.  Plant Disease 85: 287–291

Taylor, J.E., P.W. Crous & Denman, S. (2001).  Endophytes isolated from three species of Protea in a nature reserve in the Western Cape, South Africa. Sydowia 53: 247–260

Popular / semi-scientific publications since 2000

Denman, S., Kirk, S.A., & Webber, J.F. (2010). Managing acute oak decline (PDF-1050K).  Forestry Commission Practice Note 016 (FCPN016).

Denman, S., Webber, J.F., & Martin, S. (2010). The almighty oak – is it mortal after all?  Forestry and Timber News 37, 18.

Denman, S. (2010). Britain’s native oak under threat.  Woodland Heritage 2010. Pages 14−16.

Denman, S., & Webber, J.F. (2009). Oak declines – new definitions and new episodes in Britain.  Quarterly Journal of Forestry 103 (4): 285-290.

Denman, S. (2006). Selected highlights on Phytophthora ramorum, P. kernoviae and other items of interest presented at the 2006 APS meeting.  British Society of Plant Pathology Special Edition: BSPP 25th Anniversary News Letter.

Denman, S. (2004). Leaf blight and stem canker of holly.  Path News, Issue 7 (PDF-267K).

Webber, J.F., & Denman, S. (2003). Ramorum Dieback/Sudden Oak Death.  Path News, Issue 6 (PDF-292K).

Webber, J.F., Brasier, C.M., & Denman, S. (2003). Exotic Pest Alert Phytophthora ramorum Sudden Oak Death (PDF-184K).

Denman, S. (2003).  Black canker on Willow trees. Path News, Issue 5 (PDF-237K).

Rose, D., Webber, J., & Denman, S. (2003).  What's wrong with our willows? Tree Advice Trust, Arboricultural Advisory and Information Service. AAIS, Farnham, Surrey. (AAIS Tree Damage Alert 86).

Lubbe, C.M., Blomerus, L., Denman, S., & Lamprecht, S.C. (2002).  Fusarium-verwelksiekte vir die eerste keer op boegoe aangeteken. Landbouweekblad.

Rabie, L., Denman, S., & Cook, N. (2001).  Apple replant disease: Alternatives to methylbromide ahead.  Deciduous Fruit Grower 51 : 29–32.

Zondo, P.T., Labuschagne, I.F., & Denman, S. (2001).  Apple rootstock resistance against crown, collar and root rot (Phytophthora cactorum): the way ahead.  Deciduous Fruit Grower 51 : 12–13.

Swart, L., & Denman, S.  (2001). Chemical control of Phytophthora cinnamomi in potted Leucospermum plants: A summary. Sappex news 104, Fynbos insert 31.

Botha, A., Denman, S., Crous, P.W., & Lamprecht, S.C. (2001).  Strawberry Diseases: Methyl bromide out - black root rot in.  Deciduous Fruit Grower 51 : 25–27.

Denman, S., Coetzee, M.P.A., Wingfield, B.D., Wingfield, M.J., & Crous, P.W. (2000).  Armillaria root rot: A new disease of cut-flower proteas in South Africa.  Sappex news 106, Fynbos Research Insert 33. 

Books

Crous, P.W., Denman, S., Taylor, J.E., Swart, L. & Palm, M.E. (2004). Cultivation and Diseases of Proteaceae: Leucadendron, Leucospermum and Protea. CBS Biodiversity Series 2, CBS Utrecht, The Netherlands. 228 pp.

Chapters in Books

Denman, S., Crous, P.W., Taylor, J.E., Kang, J.-Ch., Pascoe, I. & Wingfield, M.J. (2000).  An overview of the taxonomic history of Botryosphaeria and a re-evaluation of its anamorphs based on morphology and ITS rDNA phylogeny. In: Molecules, morphology and classification: Towards monophyletic genera in the Ascomycetes.  (Eds) K.A. Siefert, W. Gams, P.W. Crous and G.J. Samuels.  Studies in Mycology.  45 : 129–140.