Ecospray is led by an entrepreneurial and experienced team with a mix of scientific, academic and commercial experience spanning many years.

  • Stephen Falder

    A leading microbiologist, inventor and scientist, Stephen was born in 1960 and spent his early career running the family business, HMG Paints (Britain’s largest independent paint and coatings manufacturer) with his brother John.

    In 1996, Stephen and his team invented a ground-breaking long-lasting, non-toxic antimicrobial technology which he developed and marketed through a separate company, Byotrol.  The company debuted on AIM in 2005 and is now distributed worldwide as well as in the UK, where clients include the NHS, Boots, Tesco and the major players from the healthcare, retail, leisure, baby products and pet industries.

    He joined Ecospray as Chairman in December 2013.

  • Philip Charlton Smith
    Chief Executive Officer

    Philip Charlton-Smith has worked with a number of companies, both small and large, in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer.

    His experience includes taking companies from a virtual start up to revenues of £2.5 million from organic growth and establishing significant distribution operations.


    He has been active in promotion of Industry to the government through leading roles within trade associations since 1990.

    Philip joined Ecospray in December 2013 and has day-to-day responsibility for maximising the enormous potential of the company’s product bank and the considerable knowledge and talents of the existing team.

  • Dr Murree Groom
    Director of Research

    Murree was Ecospray’s very first employee. He was engaged as Research Agronomist in February 1997 and shortly after promoted to Director of Research.

    He is a chemist and plant pathologist by training, having spent his early working years in formulation chemistry.

    Murree was responsible for driving the research programme that led to Ecospray’s existing products being registered and accredited and continues to spearhead the company’s ongoing product development programme as well as collating scientific data to support registration submissions.

  • Stephen Silvester
    Sales Director

    A member of the team since 2001, Stephen is responsible for procuring and growing sales in key product areas and identifying and developing new sales channels internationally.

    He was a farm manager for
    ten years after qualifying in agriculture, before moving into commercial sales with a leading agricultural supply business.

    Whilst there, Stephen gained
    a degree in business management from the University of Kingston
    Business School as part of the
    graduate incentive scheme.

    Stephen joined Ecospray because ‘it is a great and truly ethical company created by a family with the vision and passion to make a difference to how biopesticides based on technical excellence can innovate world agriculture’.

    A key achievement was the development of Eagle Green Care for the sports turf and amenity market – the only registered nematicide in the UK and Europe.

  • Dr Awais Anwar
    Research and Development Scientist

    Awais joined the team in 2009 to support the ongoing development of new nematicide products and formulations. He is also responsible for quality control of our existing products and raw materials, as well as dealing with regulatory issues and providing an interface between the business and students working on Ecospray projects at the University of East Anglia.

    He obtained an MSc in Chemistry (2000) from the University of Peshawar,
    Pakistan and then achieved an advanced MPhil degree in Biochemistry (2005) from Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad followed by a PhD (2009) from the University of Saarland, Germany.

    He says: “As a chemist, I know the harmful effects of synthetic chemicals used on crops and Ecospray is the only viable bio-pesticide alternative. I’m also very excited about working on the development of potentially ground-breaking medicinal applications for our patented technology.”

  • William van Cutsem
    Non-Executive Director

    William is the son of Ecospray’s founder, Hugh van Cutsem. He joined Savills in 2003 and qualified as a chartered surveyor in 2006. In late 2007 he set up a property business which now has a land bank of some 13,000 residential units and a growing portfolio of commercial properties.

    William is also the Chairman of the family farming business which has grown substantially and now farms a number of different crop types. Following in his Father’s footsteps he has keen interest in the environment and Ecospray clearly demonstrates how commercial success can benefit the our planet.

    William joined the board in 2008.

Board Advisors

  • Dr Chris Hamilton
    Reader in Medical Chemistry, University of East Anglia

    Chris has been collaborating with Ecospray since 2010 and is responsible for the selection and supervision of undergraduate, masters and PhD students working on Ecospray research projects at the University of East Anglia.

    He says: “When Ecospray came knocking at my door, the opportunity to utilise my expertise in biochemistry in an applied science setting was far too tempting to resist.”

    Chris graduated from the University of Liverpool (1994) and got his PhD from the University of Exeter (1997), followed by postdoctoral appointments at the University of St Andrews, University of Dundee and the University of East Anglia and a stint as lecturer in Organic Chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast.

    He returned to UEA in 2007 where, as Reader in Medical Chemistry, his research interests include the chemical and biological functions of nematodes and other organisms and the properties of garlic. 

  • Chris Knights
    Ecospray founder

    A renowned wildlife photographer, Chris Knights and his family farmed the Hilborough Estate and other land around Breckland, Norfolk, growing intensive crops but always with sensitivity for the wildlife that abounds.

    He says: “The ideology of safer crop protection practices has now developed a global mission where biopesticides from Ecospray are becoming widely accepted as the logical way forward.”

  • Professor Eric Block
    Carlo Rizzo Delray Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, University of Albany, State University of New York

    A world expert on garlic science and author of Garlic and Other Alliums (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2009), Eric has worked alongside the team at Ecospray since the company’s inception.

    Born in New York City, he
    is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal
    of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Eric has been Visiting Professor
    at Harvard University, Visiting Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and most recently, Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University.


    He was also the 1984 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the 1987 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Award for Advancement of Application of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, and the 2003 recipient of the Kenneth C. Spencer Award of the Kansas City Section of the ACS, among other honours.

    Eric is the author of 236 scientific papers, 8 patents, and 4 books, many of which deal with garlic and other alliums, or the chemistry of the elements sulfur and selenium, central to the chemistry of alliums.