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Carol Wagstaff

Carol Wagstaff Staff Profile
  • Research Dean for Agriculture, Food and Health
  • Co-Director of Horticulture Quality and Food Loss Network
  • Director of AgriFood Training Partnership
  • Swedish Research Council panel member for Natural, Engineering and Environmental Sciences (UF-3)
  • Advisory Board Member for Journal of Experimental Botany
  • Editorial Board Member for Journal of Food and Agricultural Science.



Building location

Harry Nursten

Areas of interest

To improve the quality of food, including the nutritional value, appearance, flavour and shelf life, as well as helping consumers make healthy dietary choices. Work at the interface between plants and humans to investigate which phytochemicals and food matrices benefit the consumer, in particular focusing on gut health. Resource allocation in crops and yield improvement.

Research centres and groups

Current projects

  • 2016 - 2019. BBSRC LINK grant with Elsoms Seeds and Bakkavor. Smart breeding for salad rocket. Post-doc Luke Bell, Research Technician to be appointed.
  • 2016 - 2020. BBSRC-KTN iCASE PhD with Waitrose. Defining, predicting and delivering 'fresh' in the context of leafy salads. Jack Davey.
  • 2015 - 2019. BBSRC iCASE PhD with Tozer Seeds. Linking biochemistry and genetics in celery to taste and flavour perceived by consumers: developing a more acceptable product. Annie-Mae Tomlins.
  • 2015 - 2018. BBSRC HAPI with Rijk Zwaan, Bakkavor, G's Fresh, Harper Adams University, University of Warwick. A genetic approach to improving postharvest quality. Post-doc Stella Lignou, Research Technician Kala Radha.
  • 2015 - 2018. BBSRC HAPI with Tozer Seeds, Harper Adams University, University of York. A Systems Approach to Disease Resistance Against Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens. Research Technician Kala Radha.
  • 2015 - 2018. KTP with MM Flowers. To develop a programme for embedding new technologies and practices for improving the vase life and quality of cut fresh flowers. TBA.
  • 2013 - 2016. PhD student funded by Malaysian Government. Improving microbial quality of fresh rocket leaves. Nadia Yahya.
  • 2013 - 2016. PhD student funded by Saudi Arabian Food Agency. Mapping quality traits in strawberry. Rashed Alarfaj.
  • 2013 - 2016. MPhil student funded by University of Reading/Crops for the Future. Developing genetic resources for underutilised brassica crops. Rajeev Taggar.
  • 2013 - 2016. PhD student funded by University of Nottingham/Crops for the Future. Understanding crop domestication. Muhamad Faiz Bin Abdul Rahman.
  • 2012 - 2016. DTP PhD student (joint between University of Reading and Nottingham DTPs). The role of ARR22 in Brassica. Chelsea Snell.

Research projects

Completed projects

  • 2012 - 2016. BBSRC iCASE PhD with Bakkavor and Elsoms Seeds. Improving the quality of salad rocket. Luke Bell.
  • 2013 - 2016. PhD student funded by East Malling Research/University of Reading. Mapping quality traits in strawberry in relation to water stress. Antonio Llorente.
  • 2015. CGIAR. Grain Legumes Review for ICRISAT.
  • 2015. Business Innovation Voucher (FoodWasteNet) with Stanswick Farm.
  • 2014. Commercial grant with Bakkavor to develop a blueprint for rocket quality. Dr Stella Lignou, Suzanne Bird.
  • 2014. BBSRC Sparking Impact Award for engagement with industries involved in the food chain. Dr Emma Bennett.
  • 2014 - 2015. KTP with Valley Produce. New product development from fresh herb waste. Dr Rebecca Smith.
  • 2011 - 2013. Leverhulme Trust. Identifying targets for improving the nutritional content of cruciferous crops. Dr Laura Pierce (neé Atkinson)
  • 2011 - 2015. Commercial grant (50% FTE research technician) funded by VHB Herbs to improve the quality of pot grown herbs. Kala Radha.
  • 2011 - 2014. PhD student funded by RETF/SCRI. Transcriptome analysis of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli in planta. Louise Birse.
  • 2011 - 2014. PhD student funded by Kurdistani studentship. The impact of MAP on apple quality. Halala Abdulfattah.
  • 2010 - 2012. Postdoctoral fellow funded by Spanish Government. Quantitative genetic analysis of nutritional traits in lettuce. Dr Ascension Martinez Sanchez.
  • 2010 - 2015. Postdoctoral visiting scientist funded by R&G Herbs. Product development for herbs. Dr Laura Jackson.
  • 2010 - 2014. PhD student funded by Malaysian Government. The role of ARR22 in seed resource accumulation and wound response. Iffah Mohd Nawi.
  • 2009 - 2013. PhD student funded by RETF/Tozer Seeds/University of Nottingham. Resource allocation in Arabidopsis and Brassica crops. Emma Bennett.
  • 2009 - 2014. BBSRC iCASE PhD with Tozer Seeds. Quantitative and qualitative assessment of bitterness in lettuce. Martin Chadwick.
  • 2009 - 2013. PhD student funded by RETF and Eccentricities. The impact of beetroot consumption on cardiovascular health. Ditte Hobbs.
  • 2008 - 2012. PhD student funded by RETF and R&G Herbs. Improving the quality of cut fresh herbs using optimised pre-harvest cultivation conditions. Ben Cruickshank.
  • 2007 - 2010. KTP with R&G Herbs. Improving shelf life of cut fresh herbs. Dr Laura Jackson (nee Graham).
  • 2006 - 2010. PhD student funded by McCains. The formation of glycoalkaloids during storage of potatoes. Nidhi Ramayya.

Academic qualifications

  • DPhil, University of York, Department of Biology, Gravitropic perception, signal transduction and response in Tradescantia fluminensis and Arabidopsis thaliana,1995-1998
  • BSc Biology, Royal Holloway & Bedford New College, University of London, 1992-1995.