Shelagh McCartan, BSc, MSc, PhD

Seed Scientist and Work Area Leader for Plant Production

Shelagh McCartanEmail:

Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5600
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5683
Fax: +44 (0)1420 23653

Forest Research
Alice Holt Lodge
Surrey GU10 4LH

Shelagh joined Forest Research in 2006 as a Seed scientist. She completed a PhD at the University of Natal, South Africa.

Current role

Seed Scientist Work Area Leader for Plant Production

Shelagh’s main areas of research are:

  • processing, testing, stratifying and storing tree seeds to improve cost efficiency and effectiveness of nursery plant production;
  • provenances with regards to assisted migration and climate change.

She also has been involved in various collaborative projects such as the UK National Tree Seed Project where she co-ordinated the collection of juniper berries across England, Scotland and Wales on behalf of the RBG Kew.

Current projects

  • Plant Production – this project is funded by Forestry Commission, Lead Investigator.
  • Acorn Storage – this project is funded by Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (grant HNS 197), Forestry Commission Scotland, Future Trees Trust, Woodland Heritage and Woodland Trust; Lead Investigator.
  • Hot-water treatment of ash fruits – this project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 635646; Research Scientist.  

Other affiliations and responsibilities

  • Deputy Co-ordinator of the IUFRO 2.09.00 - Tree seed, physiology and biotechnology.
  • Co-ordinator of the IUFRO WG 2.09.03 – Seed physiology and technology.

Main recent publications

McCartan, S.A. & Parratt, M.J. (2016) Common juniper in Britain: a review of the challenges facing this iconic species. Scottish Forestry 70(2): 34-40.

Shelagh A. McCartan, Joan F. Webber and Richard L. Jinks. (2015) Hot-water treatment as a possible method for eradicating Chalara fraxinea (Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus) infection from ash fruits (Fraxinus excelsior L). Quarterly Journal of Forestry  109, 18-23.

Shelagh A. McCartan and Richard L. Jinks (2015) Upgrading Seed Lots of European Silver Fir (Abies alba Mill.) Using Imbibition-Drying-Separation. Tree Planters' Notes 58(2): 21-27.

Midmore, E. K., McCartan, S. A., Jinks, R. L. & Cahalan, C. M. (2015). Using thermal time models to predict germination of five provenances of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) in southern England. Silva Fennica vol. 49(2): 1-12.

McCartan, S.A., Jinks, R.L. & Barsoum, N. (2015) Using thermal time models to predict the impact of assisted migration on the synchronization of germination and shoot emergence of oak (Quercus robur L.). Annals of Forest Science 72:479–487. DOI 10.1007/s13595-014-0454-5

McCartan, S.A. & Gosling, P.G. (2013) Guidelines for seed collection and stratification of common juniper (Juniperus communis L.). Tree planters notes 56:25-29.

Trade journal and newsletter articles
McCartan, S.A (2014). The UK National Tree Seed Project: safeguarding juniper for future generations. Sanctuary: the Ministry of Defence Sustainability Magazine 43: 54-55.

McCartan, S.A. (2013). 4-traders 12/12/2013 Forestry Commission in the media: protecting juniper from a berry uncertain future.

McCartan, S.A. (2013). news12/12/2013 Forestry Commission in the media: protecting juniper from a berry uncertain future. www:

McCartan, S. A. (2013).  Radio Interview with BBC Wiltshire in December2013. ‘Wild about Wiltshire’. A recorded radio interview with Marie Lennon on BBC Wiltshire.

McCartan, S.A. (2014) Juniper Management Workshop, 13th May 2014. Forest Research, Alice Holt, Farnham, Surrey, 2014