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UCD to expand horticulture team

Photo: UCD.

UCD offers a four-year Level 8 Honours degree in Horticulture and a Level 9 one-year taught master’s degree in Horticulture

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7 April 2022 | 0

The University College Dublin (UCD) horticulture team are currently recruiting for an additional academic colleague to focus on field and protected food crops.

UCD offers a four-year Level 8 Honours degree in Horticulture and a Level 9 one-year taught master’s degree in Horticulture. With the theme of a Sustainable Degree for a Sustainable Life, these programmes focus on sustainable and environmental horticulture.

The combined expertise of the UCD academic staff is focused on the incorporation of sustainability into all aspects of horticulture and the new emphasis on environmental horticulture will replace the old terms of amenity or non-food horticulture.

The degrees are being delivered by a new team of academics and support staff that includes Dr Mary Harty, Dr Noeleen Smyth and Dr Anthony Twamley.

The team is led by Prof Caroline Elliott-Kingston, who graduated with a Diploma in Horticulture from the National Botanic Gardens Dublin, followed by a BSc in Botany from UCD, and a Ph.D. researching the impact of varying atmospheric gas concentrations (O2, CO2, SO2) on plant stomatal function.

Prof Elliott-Kingston is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and a Chartered Horticulturist. In 2016, she was appointed assistant professor in Horticulture and Crop Physiology at UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science. In 2020 she was appointed head of horticulture and horticulture programme director at UCD and the Guangzhou Dublin International College (GDIC) in China.

Following over fifteen years in the IT Industry, Dr Harty returned to education and studied horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin and at UCD. She completed a Master of Environmental Science degree also at UCD and Ph.D. with Queens University Belfast / Teagasc Environmental Research Centre, Johnstown Castle, Wexford.  She has worked as a post-doctoral researcher on crop optimisation through sensing, understanding and visualisation (CONSUS) project.

A botanist and horticulturist, Dr Smyth has an Honours Degree in Botany and PhD. from Trinity College Dublin (TCD). Dr Smyth is a Chartered Horticulturist trained at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Wisley, England. She has worked for many years in the Botanic Gardens Kew, London, the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin (OPW), and has held roles in consultancy and government in various practical and research roles related to horticulture, botany, biodiversity, and conservation policy.

Dr Twamley is the latest recruit to the UCD Horticulture team. Having spent over fifteen years working as a draughtsman in the construction sector, Dr Twamley returned to education completing an honours degree in horticulture at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin and at Dublin City University. He then completed a Ph.D. in Crop Science at UCD. Since then, he has worked as a post-doctoral researcher investigating the role of specific genes in plant disease resistance. He joins the new team at UCD Horticulture as an Assistant Professor in Horticulture and will also teach horticulture at the new Guangzhou Dublin International College (GDIC) in China.

Graduates of these programmes will be scientifically educated to navigate the major challenges facing humanity now and in the future. The UCD degrees will be of interest to students who are attracted to plants, biology, the environment, or business and will provide students with in-depth knowledge for sustainable production of field crops, protected crops and nursery stock, environmentally sensitive horticulture and landscape design, plant identification, plant use and management, postharvest technologies, pest and disease control, and sports turf construction with sustainable management.

The major advances in technology and the application of novel tools (for example soilless culture, protected cropping systems, LED lighting, vertical farming, precision field cultivation, robotic harvesting, supply chain logistics, biodiversity data capture) will radically change plant production for sustainable food and environmental uses.

For further information please see myucd.ie/horticulture/ or contact Prof Caroline Elliott-Kingston at caroline.elliottkingstons@ucd.ie

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