Alex’s key areas of research expertise include: crop physiology across a range of plants as well as health giving properties of soft fruit crops; horticultural education; the impact of natural outdoor spaces on health and wellbeing. Since joining the team, Alex has made a significant contribution in leading Eden Project Learning's research strategy.

Alex studied Biology in Germany before conducting an MSc and a PhD in Crop Physiology and Crop Growth Modelling at the University of Reading, UK. Following this, she worked on a four-year DEFRA funded post-doctoral position researching soft fruit production in a changing climate and then managed an industry-sponsored research group for a further six years (Soft Fruit Technology Group, SFTG). For her work with the SFTG, Alex won an Enterprise Fellowship. During this time at the University of Reading, she was also the BSc (Hons) Admissions Tutor as well as the MSc Horticulture Course Manager and lectured in Horticulture, Botany, Agriculture and Life Sciences. 

Alex has published widely in scientific journals and has written numerous articles in the trade press. She was an Associate Editor for the Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology for several years and acted as a guest speaker at a number of international and national soft fruit conferences.

Since moving to Cornwall, Alex enjoyed working as a researcher for the Sensory Trust. As part of this role, she acted as a conduit with the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (University of Exeter Medical School) conducting a systematic review on how older people describe their sensory experiences of the natural world. Following this project, she completed a PGCE in Science with Physics and taught in local secondary schools, consolidating her enthusiasm and interest as a practitioner within education.

As well as teaching on the degree courses at Eden, Alex is scoping and liaising with academic and industry collaborators to expand upon the current research portfolio. A recent success includes funding from the Edge Foundation to establish the Horticulture Advocates Programme (HAP), which engages a number of local secondary schools in STEAM related horticultural challenges. Further areas of focus are those of food security, collaborating in a recent ‘Strength in Places’ bid, and scoping a bid for health and wellbeing in collaboration with Falmouth University (ESRC), among other projects.

Once a week, Alex can be found working alongside Ros Smith at the micropropagation laboratory, Duchy College Rosewarne, where she is in the process of formalising industry liaison and funding into the development of novel propagation protocols. This is a unique micropropagation facility which holds a Defra license for the handling of plant material to enable the eradication of Phytophthora disease.

Publications

See a list of Alex's publications

(Listed in chronological order; Wagstaffe née Angenendt)

Angenendt, A. and Battey, N.H. (2002). Model strawberry cropping. HDC News, 83: 15-6.

Angenendt, A. and Battey, N.H. (2003). Everbearers: unravelling a myth. HDC News, 91: 25-7.

Wagstaffe, A. and Battey, N.H. (2004). The optimum temperature for long-season cropping in the everbearing strawberry 'Everest', ISHS Acta Horticulturae, 708: V International Strawberry Symposium

Wagstaffe, A. and Battey, N.H. (2004). Analysis of shade and temperature effects on assimilate partitioning in the everbearing strawberry 'Everest' as the basis for optimised long-season fruit production. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 79(6): 917-922.

Wagstaffe, A. and Battey, N.H. (2006). The optimum temperature for long-season cropping in the everbearing strawberry 'Everest'. The Sixth International Strawberry Symposium, Australia (2004), ISHS Conference Proceedings, Acta Horticulturae, 708: 45-49.

Wagstaffe, A. and Battey, N.H. (2006). Characterisation of the thermodormancy response in the everbearing strawberry 'Everest'. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 81: 1086-1092.

Garcia-Macias, P., Ordidge, M., Vysini, E., Waroonphan, S., Battey, N.H., Gordon, M.H., Hadley, P., John, P., Lovegrove, J.A. and Wagstaffe, A. (2007). Changes in the flavonoid and phenolic acid contents and antioxidant activity of red leaf lettuce (Lollo Rosso) due to cultivation under plastic films varying in ultraviolet transparency. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 55 (25): 10168-10172.

Wagstaffe, A. and Battey, N.H. (2008). Tunnel production of strawberry in the UK: a review. Proceedings of the 2007 North American Strawberry Symposium, Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science, 23-28.

Tsormpatsidis, E., Henbest, R.G.C., Davis, F.J., Battey, N.H., Hadley, P., and Wagstaffe, A. (2008).The effect of UV blocking and UV transparent plastic films on Junebearing and everbearing strawberry. Proceedings of the 2007 North American Strawberry Symposium, Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science, 136-140.

Tsormpatsidis, E., Henbest, R.G.C., Davis, F.J., Battey, N.H., Hadley, P., and Wagstaffe, A. (2008). UV irradiance as a major influence on growth, development and secondary products of commercial importance in Lollo Rosso lettuce 'Revolution' grown under polyethylene films. Journal of Environmental and Experimental Botany, 63: 232-239.

Ordidge, M., Garcia-Macias, P., Battey, N.H., Gordon, M.H., Hadley, P., John, P., Lovegrove, J.A., Vysini, E. and Wagstaffe, A. (2010). Phenolic contents of lettuce, strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry crops cultivated under plastic films varying in ultraviolet transparency. Journal of Food Chemistry, 119: 1224-1227. Parker, J.K.,

Tsormpatsidis, E., Elmore, J.S., Wagstaffe, A. and Mottram, D.S. (2010). Solid-phase extraction as a routine method for comparing key aroma compounds in fruit. In: Blank, I., Würst, M. and Yeretzian, C. (eds.) Expressions of multidisciplinary flavour science: proceedings of the 12th Weurman symposium. Zürcher Hochschule fur Angewandte Wissenschaften, Wӓdenswil, Switzerland: 521-524.

Tsormpatsidis, E., Ordidge, M., Henbest, R.G.C., Wagstaffe, A., Battey, N.H. and Hadley, P. (2011). Harvesting fruit of equivalent chronological age and fruit position shows individual effects of UV radiation on aspects of the strawberry ripening process. Journal of Environmental and Experimental Botany, 74: 178-185.

Ordidge, M., Garcia-Macias, P., Battey, N.H., Gordon, M.H., John, P., Lovegrove, J.A., Vysini, E., Wagstaffe, A. and Hadley, P. (2012). Development of colour and firmness in strawberry crops is UV light sensitive, but colour is not a good predictor of several quality parameters. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 92 (8): 1597-1604.

Karapatzak, E.K., Wagstaffe, A., Hadley, P. and Battey, N.H. (2012). High-temperature-induced reductions in cropping in everbearing strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) are associated with reduced pollen performance. Annals of Applied Biology, 161: 255-265. Orr,

N., Wagstaffe, A., Briscoe, S. and Garside, R. (2016). How do older people describe their sensory experiences of the natural world? A systematic review of the qualitative evidence. BioMed Central Geriatrics, 16: 116.

Alex has also published numerous articles in commercial and trade magazines.