International Women’s Day (8th March 2023)

For this year’s International Women’s Day (taking place as always on the 8th March), we would like to give a special nod to all the women who have devoted their time and energy to AgriFoRwArdS.

Our final post this year celebrates all the other fantastic women who have supported the CDT, both forward facing and behind the scenes. We have identified just a few of them below.

Hannah Courtney is the CDTs hard working Student Digital Content Creator, a role she works on alongside her normal BSc studies. She began working with the CDT in January of 2022 creating social media posts (you’ll notice our online presence has really stepped up a gear!). This work has enabled Hannah to have a better understanding about what’s going on in the CDT and how the evolving research is helping to improve both agriculture and the environment, developing into personal interests, alongside her studies. Hannah is currently in her final year studying Biomedical Science at the University of Lincoln and has now taken an interest in data programming. She has since decided to pursue a career in data science and is excited to start her MSc in Data Science and Applied Analytics later this year at the University of Lincoln. She is particularly interested in combining this study with the skills she has already acquired from her undergraduate degree to stay within the medical field and began her experience in the technological industry.


Ali Capper became involved with the CDT via the National Farmers Union, who are an industry partner of AgriFoRwArdS, where she was Chair of the NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board. Ali works closely with the CDT as Co-Chair of the Advisory Board, where she provides and guides expert opinions on scientific, industrial, ethical, management or exploitation aspects for the CDT. In addition to this role, Ali has also supported our Student’s development directly over the last few years. She gave a wonderful talk as part of the 2021/22 Seminar Series, where she advised the community on how they could make their research relevant to farmers and growers. The talk was extremely well received and led to the students visiting Ali’s farm to speak with her further about the topic. Ali continues to support the CDT and demonstrate amazing successes.


Belinda Colston is a Co-I on the AgriFoRwArdS Project, and oversees the Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiative for the CDT. Belinda was a Professor of Chemistry initially but as Founding Director of the Institute, Belinda is the strategic lead for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at the University. She specialises in the development and evaluation of EDI strategies and interventions, and their impact across the sector. As a keen advocate for equality – particularly the support of women in STEMM disciplines – Belinda co-founded the Newton Academy: the science club for girls, in 2014. The Academy received the 2019 Prestige Award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (the Alastair Graham-Bryce Award 2019) for inspiring the next generation of engineers.

There are so many more we could mention, so thank you again to all the fabulous women who really are such a wonderful inspiration to the female students, academics and industry leaders of the future!