Beth is a specialist in root-environment interactions and is interested in how we can tailor the root growing environment to enhance nutrient uptake and crop productivity in vertical farms.
Her work is interdisciplinary, in collaboration with plant and food scientists from the John Innes Centre and Quadram Institute Bioscience, and engineers and horticulturalists working at the vertical farming technology specialist LettUs Grow.
Vertical farming is a type of indoor agriculture where plants are grown in stacked irrigation systems in a highly controlled environment.
These systems often use soilless growing techniques such as hydroponics, where water and nutrients are delivered to the crop in a water-based nutrient solution. This opens the ability to grow crops on unproductive land such as inner cities, deserts or even on Mars!
With the vertical farming sector growing rapidly, there is significant interest in optimising crop productivity to minimise cost and create high-quality nutritious products for market.