Marsh Horticultural Science Award

The Marsh Horticultural Science Award, run in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, recognises the work of and encourages new postgraduate scientists to develop careers in horticultural science.

Before 2011 the Award was the Marsh Award for Horticultural Research which recognised an individual for undertaking important research in the field of horticulture, but it was felt that this was too general and the Award would have more of an impact if it was focused on horticultural science.

“We are really pleased to be involved with this Award, which complements perfectly our own efforts to develop the horticultural scientists of tomorrow,” Roger Williams, Former Head of RHS Science.

“We developed this award in partnership with the RHS because we were concerned that too few bright scientists were choosing a career in horticultural science. Hopefully the award in a small way will help raise the profile of this important discipline and encourage more new scientists to aim for a career in horticultural science.” Brian Marsh OBE, Chairman of the Marsh Christian Trust.

The 2013 winners are Madalena Vaz Monteiro and Rachel Warmington

Madalena Vaz Monteiro

Madalena is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Reading and has been awarded for her project entitled ‘The role of leaf traits in regulation of canopy temperature and their impact on local energy balance.’

Plants offer several important ecosystem services including temperature regulation. If planted on roofs, plants can decrease temperatures inside a building by providing better building insulation. They also reduce the heating up of surrounding built structures and in some cases decrease air temperature above the canopy. Madalena’s project focuses on understanding how different plant canopies influence the overall thermal performance of green spaces such as green roofs.

This project helps provide a stronger rationale for greater plant choice on green roofs as most green roof plant communities are dictated purely by ecological forces. Madalena’s work demonstrates that the employment of horticultural factors may significantly improve the ecosystem service provision of the roof.

Through working on this project, Madalena has demonstrated an enthusiastic and proactive approach, whilst using novel scientific techniques and developing a concept which has great implications for urban sustainability.

Rachel Warmington - Highly Commended

Rachel is a 2nd year PhD student at the University of Warwick. She has been awarded for her research project on Sclerotinia disease, which affects a variety of vegetable crops.

This disease derives from the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. In the UK, Sclerotinia disease can damage a variety of major crops such as oilseed rape, lettuce, carrots, beans, peas and occasionally potatoes. Rachel’s project focuses on identifying potential new soil treatments required to control Sclerotinia disease and on furthering investigation into the diversity, causes and patterns of the disease in the UK.

Through this project, Rachel has demonstrated her ability to design and carry out experiments which address both fundamental science questions as well as more practical solutions for the industry and crop growers. She has developed novel systems to carry out her assessments and has shown great dedication to her work throughout the process.

Pictured above:
Top - Madalena Vaz Monteiro
Bottom - Rachel Warmington


The Royal Horticultural Society
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