Melanie runs the laboratories for the horticulture and plant science degrees at Eden Project Learning, and in addition to this is responsible as the Site Safety Officer.
Melanie manages the laboratories at Eden Project Learning (EPL). Following a fascination with plants, she has worked in a variety of horticultural environments from private gardens to plant tissue culture, studying at Bicton College, Duchy Rosewarne and Eden Project Learning.
She has run the laboratories and associated greenhouses at Eden from 2016. During this time she has managed the expansion of the laboratory facilities and its provision. Melanie has developed the ‘Drop-in Lab’ project which enables students to develop their laboratory and research skills in addition to curriculum provisions.
Melanie is also the Site Safety Officer, with COSHH and IOSH certification. This involves working alongside Eden site staff and the Cornwall College Group to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff.
Previous to joining EPL, Melanie achieved a First Class Honours BSc Horticulture (Plant Science). During her studies she worked in a number of private gardens as well as Stallcombe House, an organic production garden and orchard working with residents with learning difficulties. She was also involved in a project with XL Horticulture and Bicton College, running a trial on the impact of compost tea on turf management and vegetable production.
On moving to Rosewarne, Melanie interests turned to micro-propagation/plant tissue culture. There she was able to take part in a project funded by Cambridge University Botanic Gardens and Plant Heritage to develop a protocol for the production of virus-free material from a rare heritage tulip (Tulipa ‘Captain Fryatt’) which had become infected with Tulip-Breaking virus.
Melanie is currently researching the possibility of micro-propagating from a graft of a 1,200-year-old Quercus petraea, the Pontfadog Oak, which came down in a storm in 2013. This forms part of a Research Masters funded by the Seale Hayne Trust. As part of this she was awarded funding from Stanley Smith (UK) Horticultural Trust to present her work at the International Plant Propagation Society Conference in the Netherlands.