Training News

CTP news and student blog posts

Reflections and Looking Forwards

Written by: Prof Carly Stevens The last academic year was a very strange one, this time last year we had no idea of the challenges we would face. For students in the Waitrose CTP this has been especially challenging as projects were heavily disrupted by not be able to travel within and outside the UK […]

Read More

Alex Blomfield: Rathlin Island Placement

Rathlin Island supports Northern Ireland’s largest seabird colony and I’ve been lucky enough to do a placement at the RSPB’s Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre this summer. It has been a welcome break from my PhD and, as someone who spends most of their time thinking about butterflies, it has been a fantastic opportunity to […]

Read More

Patrick Skilleter: Summer Training Event

In June of 2019, the second cohort of CTP students undertook their first summer training event, held at the University of Warwick over the course of three days. Dr. Rosemary Collier, director of the Warwick Crop Centre, led the event, which included industrial visits, lectures, and a team building exercise. The day was a guest […]

Read More

Helena Ripley: Finding Joy in Lab work

Lab work is part of my PhD and, as with all aspects of PhDs it has its ups and downs. Some of the stages have been stressful, tedious and exhausting. But working in the lab also allows me to network with fellow students, takes me out of my comfort zone, and changes the pace and […]

Read More

Megan McKerchar- Fruitful PhD Success

Written by Megan McKerchar, Ex Waitrose PhD Student and current Technical Manager at Worldwide Fruit I am fortunate enough to sit between research and the commercial world where I work for Worldwide Fruit, and manage Research and Development projects focusing on CI and the three pillars of sustainability, economic, environmental and social challenges. I am […]

Read More

Nature’s Dangerous Decline IPBES Report

Staggering statistics released by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Key Statistics and Facts from the Report based on Food and Agriculture IPBES (2019) 300%: increase in food crop production since 1970 23%: land areas that have seen a reduction in productivity due to land degradation >75%: global food crop types […]

Read More

Harbingers of Spring

Written by CTP Student, Alex Blomfield To me nothing represents the joy of spring-time like butterflies. With spring approaching I am looking forward to my second field-season studying the pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly. The pearl-bordered fritillary gets it’s Latin name, Boloria euphrosyne, from the Greek goddess Euphrosyne, who represents joy. It is indeed a fitting name […]

Read More


Part of my fieldwork this season involves trying to catch live aphids on lettuce from various parts of the UK. I would provide you with ~30 lettuces to grow in your garden and I would ask if you see any aphids on the lettuce for them to be sent to me at Rothamsted Research. Costs […]

Read More