Welcome to SSCR | SSCR Scottish Society for Crop Research | The James Hutton Institute

SCRI scientist honoured

A 35-year-old scientist at SCRI, Scotland’s leading centre for crop research and plant breeding, has been awarded the Peter Massalski Prize for meritorious research.

Photograph of Alison Roberts

Dr Alison Roberts leads the Cell Biology and Imaging Group at SCRI. Born and brought up in Dundee, Dr Roberts is the author of more than thirty refereed scientific publications and a host of articles and papers.

Her work involves using a range of state-of-the-art confocal and electron microscopes and fluorescence imaging techniques. She is a plant cell biologist and plant pathologist by training and her main area of current research is to study the infection process of Potato Mop Top Virus – an important disease of potatoes in Scotland and other parts of the world.

The ceremony took place at today’s annual general meeting of the Scottish Society for Crop Research, who administer the award.

Dr Roberts is a fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society (FRMS), a Scottish Enterprise Tayside Science Ambassador to Scottish schools and an honorary lecturer and examiner for Dundee University.

In 2002, she won the Irene Manton Prize, awarded by the Linnaean Society for the best botanical PhD thesis submitted at a UK university or institution.

Professor Peter Gregory, SCRI’s Chief Executive and Institute Director, said: “Alison has steadily acquired an international reputation for the quality of her science.

“In addition she is a fantastic ambassador for the work we do at SCRI and a role model for any youngster aspiring to a career in science.”

The Massalski Prize was established through the generosity of Professor and the late Mrs T.B. Massalski.  It was in memory of their son, Dr Peter R. Massalski, who was a member of staff at of the Scottish Crop Research Institute at the time of his death.

The prize is awarded biennially to the person under 36 years  old, who is considered to have done the most meritorious research whilst working at SCRI.

It takes the form of a certificate accompanied by a monetary award.