Ian Waghorn

Ian supports the research scientists in the RHS Plant Health team, providing technical and administrative support. He helps maintain the research facilities and ensures researchers have the resources they need

What do you do?

I contribute to a range of projects and publications through my work supporting the Plant Health team. My work is very varied depending on which researcher I am supporting and the time of year.
During the summer, much of my time is spent setting up and maintaining the various treatments tested in our field trials – from constructing insect-proof cages to growing more than 1,000 tomato plants from seed.
In the winter I spend more time on admin tasks such as updating health and safety information and maintaining our image and advisory databases. Other tasks include ensuring that equipment is maintained and ordering consumables.

Why is your team’s research important?

My research directly impacts gardeners. The results of RHS studies provide gardeners with advice and guidance on managing pests and diseases in their own gardens.
In my work, I constantly strive to improve our collective understanding of plant health and keep the advice as relevant as possible.


Horticultural research, particularly field research, often presents challenges, and because the work I do is often unique my research techniques and experimental methods are continuously under review – that’s what makes it rewarding when a problem is successfully solved.


  • Cromey M, Drakulic J, Beal E, Waghorn I, Perry J, Clover G. (2020) Susceptibility of garden trees and shrubs to Armillaria root rot. Plant Disease, 104, pp483-92
  • Platoni A, Bird S, Waghorn I, Perry J, Collier R, Clover G. (2019) Using physical barriers to prevent carrot fly (Psila rosae (Fabricius)) damage in domestic production. Journal of Applied Entomology, Vol 143, Issue 10, pp1089–95
  • Beal E, Waghorn I, Scrace J, Henricot B. (2018) First report of Phytophthora tentaculata affecting Santolina in the UK. New Disease Reports, 37, 8
  • Beal E, Henricot B, Peace A, Waghorn I, Denton J. (2015) The action of allicin against Armillaria spp. in vitro. Forest Pathology, 45, 6, pp450–58

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.