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University of Warwick announce the appointment of the Acting Director of Warwick HRI

Originally Published 05 January 2004
Brian Thomas
Brian Thomas

Professor Brian Thomas was named today as the Acting Director of Warwick HRI, when HRI Wellesbourne and Kirton join the University of Warwick on 1 April 2004.

Brian is currently Research Director for the Crop Improvement and Biotechnology Research Theme and has responsibility for approximately 120 staff located across HRI’s research sites. In 1974 he obtained a degree in Botany followed by a PhD in Plant Physiology at UCW Aberystwyth before working as a postdoctoral scientist in Carleton University, Ottawa and the University of Reading. Brian joined the Glasshouse Crops Research Institute in Littlehampton (later HRI) as a research scientist in 1989, and moved to Wellesbourne in 1995. He was appointed HRI Research Director in 2001.

Professor Stuart Palmer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick, offered his congratulations to Brian on the new role. “Brian has shown considerable management skills during his time as Research Director at HRI, and this, combined with his formidable record as a horticulture research scientist, will ensure the new Department, Warwick HRI is in ‘safe hands’ until the new Director is appointed. I am very grateful that Brian will be helping us through this exciting transition period.”

A new Director of Warwick HRI will be appointed as soon as possible. Search consultants have already been engaged and an advertisement will be published early in 2004.

On confirming his new role as Acting Director, Brian said “This is a very exciting time for HRI Wellesbourne and Kirton as we move to become a Department of the University of Warwick. Warwick HRI will continue to offer world-class research to all its current customers, including the horticulture industry, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the BBSRC. As a horticulture research scientist with 24 years experience I am delighted that HRI’s work has been secured for the benefit of the UK industry and the wider science base as a result of this merger. Until the new Director is appointed, I will ensure Warwick HRI continues to deliver the excellent quality of science that our customers have come to expect.”

For further information please contact:

Sarah Cook, Communications Manager, HRI Wellesbourne, Warwick, CV35 9EF
Telephone 01789 470 382
Fax 01789 472 043

Peter Dunn, Press Officer, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL
Telephone 024 7652 3708
Fax 024 7652 8194

Horticulture Research International is the primary UK organisation tasked with carrying out horticultural research and development and transferring the results to the UK horticultural industry. Until 31 March 2004 HRI is in the public sector, reporting to Defra, its Sponsor Department. It aims increasingly to fund its activities from commercial sources.