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Specialist horticultural educator joins Eden Project Learning

Published: October 5, 2018

The Cornwall College Group eden

 The Eden Project and The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) have appointed a new lecturer for horticulture into a blossoming team of global experts at Eden Project Learning (EPL).

Specialist horticultural educator, Dr Alexandra Wagstaffe, brings with her a wealth of experience in plant sciences as well as an enthusiasm for teaching and learning.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work in joint venture with Cornwall College and the Eden Project and its commitment to connect us with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work towards a better future,” she explained.

“It is exciting to be working with such a friendly and intellectually stimulating team, and everybody is personally invested in providing an excellent student experience and for our ethos to inspire the next generation horticulturists to make a difference, whether locally, nationally or internationally.”

Alex studied biology in Germany before conducting an MSc and a PhD in Crop Physiology & Crop Growth Modelling at the University of Reading.

She worked on a four-year DEFRA funded post-doctoral position researching strawberry production in a changing climate and then managed the Soft Fruit Technology Group (SFTG) for a further six years.

For her work with the SFTG, Alex won an Enterprise Fellowship. During this time, she was also the BSc (Hons) Admissions Tutor as well as the MSc Horticulture Course Manager at the University of Reading. She lectured in Horticulture, Botany, Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Head of Eden Project Learning, Professor Robert Barratt said it was “a great pleasure to welcome Alex” and the team is “looking forward to the impact she will bring during an exciting new phase for Eden Project Learning”.

“Since launching in September 2015, Eden Project Learning has quickly grown into a leading provider of higher education horticulture programmes in the U.K.,” he continued.

“Alex’s expertise, wealth of experience and enthusiasm will allow us to expand our provision even further and strengthen our research capacity, which is fantastic news for our learners and the future of the thriving horticulture sector.”

Alex’s new role will see her lecturing on the Horticulture degree programmes offered at the Green Build Hub on the Eden site.

Her research interests include crop physiology across a range of plants as well as health giving properties of soft fruit crops. She has published widely in scientific journals and has written numerous articles in the trade press. Alex was an Associate Editor for the Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology and acted as a guest speaker at a number of international and national soft fruit conferences.

Since moving to Cornwall, Alex enjoyed working as a researcher for the Sensory Trust. As part of this role, she acted as a conduit with the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (University of Exeter Medical School) conducting a systematic review on how older people describe their sensory experiences of the natural world. Following this project, she completed a PGCE in Science with Physics and taught in local secondary schools.

Find out more about the range of higher education programmes offered by Eden Project Learning at our upcoming Open Event on 20th Oct 11am-1pm. Book your place at www.edenproject.com/degrees or call 0330 123 2523.

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