The trainee is expected to contribute to a number of research projects across the department. The department has projects within these three main areas of research:
i) delivering resource use efficiencies for water, fertilisers and labour, as key components of optimising environmental and economically sustainable food production. This major theme develops crop-based knowledge to facilitate our fundamental understanding of resource demand based on crop requirements.
ii) understanding crop and environmental interactions that enable crops to tolerate abiotic stress in sub-optimal environments, while maintaining yields and quality. The consequences of climate change and/or increased climate variability for food security requires research that focuses on the development of crops and cropping systems appropriate for current UK conditions and resilient to future conditions.
iii) manipulating below-ground biotic interactions which contribute to crop yield and quality.
The trainee will take part in all aspects of the project from setting up and monitoring the experiments to plant and fruit phenotyping. The activities that the trainee
will carry out includes:
- Assist on setting up experiments i.e. marking out experimental plots, planting out experimental plants etc.
- Assist in coordinating field trials, and collecting samples from field and glasshouse
- Undertake laboratory-based trials on fruit physiology with supervision from experienced staff and assist in product quality assessment i.e. Brix and firmness measurements, grade out of fruit
- Carry out plant physiological measurements i.e. photosynthesis rate, stem water potential
- Undertake measurements of plant water relations and several plant physiological responses to drying substrate i.e. wet reading, download logger data etc.
- Undertake sample preparation for chemical analysis i.e. lyophilize and grind samples
- Manage data sets, including data input and analysis