Rothamsted’s Glasshouses and Controlled Environment Services Department is responsible for developing and maintaining the specialist plant growth and ancillary support facilities here at Rothamsted Research, in order to meet the highly diverse research requirements of our scientific community.
A wide variety of research plants, grown in glasshouses, outdoor cages, polytunnel and controlled environments, are provided and carefully tended by our team of 10 (7.5 FTE) dedicated staff. The plant material produced is mainly temperate crop species, with over 500,000 plants being raised per annum for a variety of research purposes, including studies into nutrition, plant physiology and genetic transformation. Many plants are also grown up for use as insect food. Pest and disease control is managed through a combination of good plant hygiene, biological control and the safe application of pesticides.
The controlled environment and glasshouses can provide a diverse range of environments from tropical to desert to tundra. Lighting spectrum can be adjusted to meet user requirements. Monitoring, as well as good control of temperature humidity, lighting and carbon dioxide can be provided.
Apart from internal contracts, external contracts from universities, small and large companies are supported.