Hannah McGrath

Rothamsted Research and University of Reading

Sponsored by: Kubota UK

Hannah is based at Rothamsted Research working with Waitrose and Huntapac to help protect the vegetables from viruses transmitted by greenfly.

Working in fields which grow 13 million carrots destined for the supermarket, she has trialled the creation of special wildflower strips which attract insects that counteract viruses and encourage pollinators.

Her work is currently focussed on linking the effect from field margins onto crop quality and yield and ensuring agricultural systems are sustainable and enhancing environmental contributions where possible.

Hannah regularly meets with farmers to listen to their areas of concerns all the while carrying out novel research and, has demonstrated science and industry can work collaboratively together to achieve successful results.

She collects data to inform sustainable farming decisions and profitability and talks to farmers about how to support wildlife and enhance biodiversity and engagement with the public.


Hannah has built a significant and positive following on social media through content and video, with her video posts gaining up to 10,000 views. Through it, she aims to help growers to understand the science behind ecology in understandable ways, as well as showing how scientists can better work with industry.

Hannah’s commitment to sharing knowledge for the wider agricultural sector can also be seen in her role as a host on a podcast, The Science of Feeding the World, where she tries to help scientists explain their work in understandable, interesting and accessible ways to attract younger, and other consumer audiences to engage better.

When she is not writing up her experiments, she leads various presentations (for which she earnt various awards) and workshops including the Agri-Tech East’s Young Innovator Forum and is a member of Rothamsted’s equality and diversity committee.