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Max heads up the entomology team within Tree Health and is currently responsible for over 20 staff members within the department.
As well as providing the team with the managerial support they need to deliver world class science, he also liaises closely with Defra, the Forestry Commission, Scottish Forestry and National Resources Wales on policy and the management of invasive insect pests of trees, as well as providing Advisory and Phytosanitary support to Tree Health. He has been the scientific lead on the Ips typographus eradication programme since 2020.
His research focusses on improving holistic surveillance techniques for invasive bark beetles, improving predictions of when and where invasive species will become problematic, refining the eradication and monitoring programme for Ips typographus, and applying molecular approaches to forest entomology.
Max joined Forest Research in 2017 after working on beetles at Aberystwyth University, including population genetics (microsatellites, DNA barcoding), species distribution modelling, and fungal metabarcoding.
The Forest Trapping Network is a rolling programme which will survey 100 forests for EU-survey list pests over five years. In each forest, plots of oak, pine, spruce, fir and mature mixed broadleaf are chosen to target different pest species. The FTN is currently in the first year of the Beta-phase (2022 - 2025), with the first full 5-year reporting period commencing in 2025 and finishing in 2030. The Alpha-phase of the project ran from 2020-2022, testing different lure and forest-type combinations.
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