October 2019 – September 2023
Sophie obtained her BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Reading. Her PhD project focuses on the investigation of all-year-round production of strawberries in the UK, with the following specific objectives:
- To evaluate potential new low-chill cultivars and their responses to contrasting photo-thermal environments and feed regimes with the objective of optimising growth and maximising yield and quality of fruit for out of season production
- To evaluate canopy productivity and reproductive efficiency in multi-layer growing systems
- To carry out an economic study on the level of PAR and photoperiod from artificial lights (LEDs) required to ensure maximum returns from winter produced strawberries
- To study the manipulation of chilling during the propagation period to enhance earliness and ensure satisfactory winter production under glasshouse conditions
- To develop a physiological-based chilling model for key Junebearer and Everbearer cultivars.