Cookies on CABI

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.


Continuing to use  means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Search this site
Sign up for the CABI e-zine Newsletter
Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment
Staff image of David  Smith

David Smith Director Biological Resources

T: +44 (0)1491 829114


CABI, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey, TW209TY, United Kingdom

I have worked for CABI for nearly 40 years in the conservation and use of microbial diversity. In my current position as Director of Biological Resources I support the Bioservices section to develop and implement projects and act as a consultant on culture collection strategy. I am also a past President of the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) 2004-2010.

I previously headed up the CABI Genetic Resource Collection (GRC) which is now a world leader in culture collections with our scientists undertaking state of the art preservation research. My work with the GRC put it on a sound financial footing with products, services and research project portfolio and the GRC now has productive links to UK government and donor organizations.

Previously General Manager for the Global Biological Resource Centre Network Demonstration Project, based in Germany, I am now a member of the steering group for the preparatory phase of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI).

I specialise in mycology, more specifically in the techniques for preservation of fungi. This has involved lecturing, teaching, training and establishing collection facilities world-wide (Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Cuba, Finland, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, USA, Indonesia, UK). Throughout my career I have published over 150 scientific papers, conference proceedings, project reports and technical publications. In addition, I have developed standards for the operation of culture collections with the UK National Culture Collection (UKNCC), in Europe with the European Biological Resource Centre Initiative and globally with the OECD and the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC). As a part of my work I have also looked at addressing Biological Resource Centre (BRC) compliance with the law such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, Biosecurity, Intellectual Property Rights and Shipping. In 2012 I was elected as a Fellow of the Society for Biology.

Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

MIRRI: improving access to microbial resources, services and data

Microorganisms are vital natural resources for biotechnology; they help advance human health, improve food security and provide innovative solutions to research and development. The European microbial landscape is fragmented and resources or data are hard to find. The Microbial Resource Research...
Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

Developing biopesticides to remove the need for cold storage

Farmers face issues with insect pests that damage their crops. In Africa, cold storage facilities necessary for some biopesticides aren't always available. As experts in this and crop management, we are working with Asymptote Ltd, a UK technology company, to develop an appropriate product for rural...