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Conducts research into control and management of plant pathogens of conifers, in particular dothistroma needle blight (caused by Dothistroma septosporum) outlined in Dothistroma needle blight (Dothistroma septosporum) and root and butt rot (caused by Heterobasidion species) outlined in Treatment of root and butt rot in conifers.

Kath provides a consultancy service to forest managers who use the biological control agent, PG Suspension, which Forest Research manufactures in house.

She also conducts surveillance of Quarantine and Regulated Non Quarantine pathogens in places of plant production and has an interest in pathogens significant to urban trees, particularly plane trees.

Massaria disease (Splanchnonema platani)

Anthracnose disease of plane (Apiognomonia veneta)

Elbow-patch crust of plane (Fomitiporia punctata)

Canker stain of plane (Ceratocystis platani).

Dr Katherine Tubby (née Thorpe) studied Zoology at Oxford University and Pest Management at Imperial College. She then obtained a DPhil in 1999, jointly funded by Forest Research and University of Ulster, studying the feeding ecology of a forestry insect pest. She has spent the past two decades working within the Tree Health Division of Forest Research. Interests include:

  • Biological and chemical pest control
  • Tree pathology
  • Surveillance for biosecurity threats


Peer-reviewed publications

Tubby, K. V., Adamcikova, K., Adamson, K., Akiba, M., Barnes, I., Boroń, P., … & Mullett, M.(2023). The Increasing Threat to European Forests from the Invasive Foliar Pine Pathogen, Lecanosticta acicola. Forest Ecology and Management Volume 536, 15 May 2023, 120847

Tubby, K. & Forster (2022) High fliers: exploring the potential role of aerial fungicide operations in British forestry. QJF (submitted)

Tubby, K. V. & Forster, J. (2020) The potential role of aerial pesticide applications to control landscape-scale outbreaks of pests and diseases in British forestry with a focus on dothistroma needle blight. Forestry 94: 347–362 doi:10.1093/forestry/cpaa038

Willoughby, I., Tubby, K., Saunders, C. & Peace, S. (2019) Exploring the use of Ecoplugs for Woody Weed Control: are there more cost effective methods for controlling woody weeds than felling to recycle? Quarterly Journal of Forestry Vol 113(2), p.96-101

Vainio, E. J., Bezos, D., Bragança, H., Cleary, M., Fourie, G., Georgieva, M., Ghelardini, L., Hannunen, S., Ioos, R., Martín-García, J., Martínez-Álvarez, P., Mullett, M., Oszako, T., Papazova-Anakieva, I., Piškur, B., Romeralo, C., Sanz-Ros, A. V., Steenkamp, E. T., Tubby, K., Wingfield, M. J. & Diez, J. J. (2019) Sampling and Detection Strategies for the Pine Pitch Canker (PPC) Disease Pathogen Fusarium circinatum in Europe. Forests 2019, 10, 723; https://doi:10.3390/f10090723

Tubby, K. V., Willoughby, I. H. & Forster, J. (2018) The efficacy of chemical thinning treatments on Pinus sylvestris and Larix kaempferi and subsequent incidence and potential impact of Heterobasidion annosum infection in standing trees. Forestry, Vol 90 (5), p 728–736

Mullett, M. S., Brown, A. V., Fraser, S., Baden, R. & Tubby, K. V. (2017) Insights into the pathways of spread and potential origins of Dothistroma septosporum in Britain. Fung. Ecol., Vol. 26, p.85-98.

Mullett, M. S., Tubby, K. V., Webber, J. F. & Brown, A. V. (2016) A reconsideration of natural dispersal distances of the pine pathogen Dothistroma septosporum. Plant Pathology, Vol. 65, p. 1462–1472.

Bulman, L. S., Bradshaw, R. E., Fraser, S., Martín-García, J., Barnes, I., Musolin, D. L., La Porta, N., Woods, A. J., Diez, J. J., Koltay, A., Drenkhan, R., Ahumada, R., Poljakovic-Pajnik, L., Queloz, V., Piškur, B., Doğmuş-Lehtijärvi, H. T., Chira, D., Tomešová-Haataja, V., Georgieva, M., Jankovský, L., Anselmi, N., Markovskaja, S., Papazova-Anakieva, I., Sotirovski, K., Lazarević, J., Adamčíková, K., Boroń, P., Bragança, H., Vettraino, A. M., Selikhovkin, A. V., Bulgakov, T. S. & Tubby, K. (2016) A worldwide perspective on the management and control of Dothistroma needle blight. Forest Pathology, 46: 472–488. []

Drenkhan, R., Tomešova-Haataja, V., Fraser, S., Bradshaw, R. E., Vahalik, P., Mullett, M. S., Martin-Garcia, J., Bulman, L. S., Wingfield, M. J., Kirisits, T., Cech, T. L., Schmitz, S, Baden, R., Tubby, K., Brown, A., Georgieva, M., Woods, A., Ahumada, R., Jankovsky, L., Thomsen, I. M., Adamson, K., Marçais, B., Vuorinen, M., Tsopelas, P., Koltay, A., Halasz. A., La Porta, N., Anselmi, N., Kiesnere, R.,  Markovskaja, S., Kačergius, A., Papazova-Anakieva, I., Risteski, M., Sotirovski, K., Lazarević, J., Solheim, H., Boroń, P., Bragança, H., Chira, D., Musolin, D. L., Selikhovkin, A. V., Bulgakov, T. S., Keča, N., Karadžić, D., Galovic, V., Pap, P., Markovic, M., Poljakovic Pajnik, L., Vasic, V., Ondrušková, E.,  Piškur, B., Sadiković, D., Diez, J. J., Solla, A., Millberg, H., Stenlid, J., Angst, A., Queloz, V., Lehtijärvi, A., Doğmuş-Lehtijärvi, H. T., Oskay, F., Davydenko, K., Meshkova, V., Craig, D., Woodward, S. & Barnes, I. (2016) Global geographic distribution and host range of Dothistroma species: a comprehensive review. Forest Pathology, 46 (5), p. 408−442.

Tubby, K. V. & Pérez-Sierra, A. (2015) Pests and pathogen threats to plane (Platanus) in Britain. Arb. Journal, Vol. 37, p. 85-98.

Tubby, K. V. & Webber, J. F. (2010). Pests and diseases threatening urban trees under a changing climate. Forestry, Vol. 83, p. 451-459.

Thorpe, K. V. & Day, K. R. (2008) The relative importance of larval and adult diet on reproductive maturation in the large pine weevil, Hylobius abietis (L.). J. Ag. For. Ent. Vol. 10, p. 53 – 59.

Tubby, K. V., Scott, D. & Webber, J. F.  (2008). The relationship between stump treatment coverage using the biological control product PG Suspension, and control of Heterobasidion annosum on Corsican pine, Pinus nigra subsp. laricio. Forest Pathology, Vol. 38, pp. 37.

Outreach, newsletter and trade publications

Mullett, M., Tubby, K & Pérez-Sierra, A. (2017). Field Guide: Pine pitch canker. COST Action FP1406 PINESTRENGTH. 20 pp.

Tubby, K., (2017) Forestry Commission Pest Alert: Pine pitch canker. 2 pp.

Tubby, K. & Webber, J., (2015) Forestry Commission Pest Alert: Plane wilt (canker stain disease). 2 pp.

Tubby, K. (2008). Problems on plane trees. Advisory note No. 7 4pp. (Problems on plane trees – Forest Research)

FR publications and Contract reports

Tubby, K. V., Willoughby, I., Stokes, V., Forster, J. & Connolly, T (2016). The effect of different chemical thinning treatments on incidence of Heterobasidion annosum in standing trees. p. 39-56 In: The use of Ecoplugs for woody weed control. By Ian Willoughby, Colin Saunders, Kath Tubby, Victoria Stokes, Colin Edwards, Jack Forster and Tom Connolly 69 pp.

Willoughby, I., Evans, H., Brown, A., Denman, S., Hendry, S., Jones, B., Mayle, B., Moore, R., Nisbet, T., Straw, N., Trout, R., Tubby, K.,
Webber, J. (2012) Weed, Pest and Disease Management in Forestry – minimising pesticide use in the forest. Forest Research Internal Report. Forest Research, Alice Holt. 728 pp.

Tubby, K. V. (2012). Massaria disease of plane. In Forest Research Annual Report and Accounts, 2011-12. Forest Research, Edinburgh. p. 11.

Staff profile picture for Kath Tubby

Katherine Tubby

MA Oxon, MSc, DPhil
Principal Investigator
Tree health

Forest Research

Alice Holt Lodge


Surrey GU10 4LH


Related Research


Understanding the significance and impacts of different populations of Dothistroma septosporum on native and exotic forest species in Britain

This research aims to determine whether genetically distinct British populations of the foliar pine pathogen, Dothistroma septosporum are phenotypically different from one another.

Status current


DIAROD research summary

The DIAROD programme aims to provide the required evidence base for Dothistroma needle blight (DNB) to enable its invasiveness and associated risks to be determined, and hence help prevent its spread, and better enable countries to manage this and future outbreaks of other pests and diseases.

Status completed
Treatment of root and butt rot in conifers

The root and butt rot programme investigates biological and chemical methods of controlling the disease in commercial conifer crops