Dr David Cooke is a senior plant pathologist at the James Hutton Institute. He was a graduate and postgraduate student at Aberystwyth University and has been working in Dundee since 1994. He specialises on the study of diseases of potatoes, soft fruit and trees caused by Phytophthora (from the Greek ‘plant destroyer’). The potato late blight agent, Phytophthora infestans, remains the most notorious of these species. David runs a programme of late blight research that examines the way crop management practices should adapt to a continually evolving pathogen population.