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Richard Ellis and Paul Hadley complete 40 years at the University

Professors Paul Hadley and Richard Ellis

Professors Richard Ellis and Paul Hadley celebrated 40 years’ continuous service to the University of Reading this week.

Both began their Post-doctoral Research Fellowships on 1 October 1977 – Richard in Horticulture and Paul in Agriculture. For Richard, it was a return to the University after a Research Fellowship in Scotland: he is also celebrating the start of his PhD research studentship here 45 years ago this week.

Richard and Paul gratefully acknowledge the excellent, understated, and always jovial mentoring they received from the late Professor Eric Roberts at the start of their careers here.

This not only enabled them to develop independent scientific approaches to crop production research but also in the successful conduct of genuine, strong teamwork in achieving international research excellence.

Their best time as academics, if a single period can be defined, was in the 1990s when they were jointly researching climate change impact on cereal and vegetable crops. They not only devised a unique approach to such investigations, but the consequent series of scientific papers altered the international direction of focus of such research towards the impacts of brief periods of extreme weather at particularly sensitive stages of crop development.

Both Richard and Paul also emphasise how much they have enjoyed many decades of supporting the learning of a diverse undergraduate and postgraduate student body from the UK and overseas, and in the hearing of all their subsequent successes.

They continue to cooperate; for example, both are heavily involved in the management of the National Fruits Collection, and in developing the new, large, long-term study investigating impacts on apple production at that site.

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