Sir David Read FRS

David Read is a botanist whose research interest lies in the physiology of fungi and plants. He has made major contributions to our understanding of how fungi colonise plant roots and the importance of this for soil health and structure.

David has investigated how substances such as nitrogen and organic compounds containing carbon move from plant to plant via the fungal structures that colonise them. He has also highlighted the importance of these transport mechanisms to ecological health. Other aspects of David’s research have enabled him to contribute to knowledge of how soil conditions and pollution affect tree growth.

David currently advises the Forestry Commission and has published numerous academic papers. In 2002, he received the Kempe Award for Distinguished Ecologists and he was knighted in 2007 for services to biological sciences. He has served on the board of Rothamsted Research, the longest running agricultural research station in the world, and was Vice-President and Biological Secretary of the Royal Society from 2003–2008.

Professional position

  • Emeritus Professor of Plant Sciences, Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield
  • Former Biological Secretary, The Royal Society

Subject groups

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology

    Plant sciences / botany, Ecology (incl behavioural ecology), Agricultural and forest science, Soil science

Sir David Read FRS
Elected 1990