Research at University Centre Hadlow

The rural sector sector is fundamental to the wider economy.  Our research, which all staff and students have the opportunity to undertake in their areas of specialism, supports this growth and provides industry with forward-thinking creative solutions.

Some of our projects include


  • Breedr: Our BSc (Hons) Agriculture students are working with Breedr in the development of the world's first technology platform for the livestock industry, which focuses on improving the global standards, productivity and “Paddock to plate” traceability of the meat and livestock industry.   The pilot program for this exciting project seeks to work hand-in-hand with farmers, processors and buyers to offer a place where they can collaborate to raise the benchmark for global meat production and deliver a better product to consumers

  • Global Plant Genetics variety trials: This collaborative research project sees students working with Global Plant Genetics, a unique company with a specialist focus on asparagus, berry and grape rootstock crops. The project offers one student an industry placement working with the co-owner of the business, Jamie Petchell (a BSc (Hons) Commercial Horticulture graduate), to assess varieties grown outdoors, leading to a dissertation. It is a long-term trial of approximately five years to gather meaningful data, with assessment based on total yield, weight, size and Brix content.
  • Tozer Seeds brassica breeding programme: The project - co-ordinated by Hadlow lecturers and Tozer’s R&D department - involves second year undergraduate students and allows a crop to be grown under glass over winter with minimal input, making it a relatively economical crop, but with maximum gains. The students involved are invited to tour Tozer’s facilities, led by Dr. Jamie Claxton, Director of Plant Breeding and Dr Frances Gawthrop, Director of Research & Development.
    Tozer are innovators in vegetable and salad seed breeding and production - and they provided the rocket seeds for UK astronaut Tim Peake to take to the International Space Station, which were subsequently used in the seed-growing experiments by schools across the UK to investigate the effect of a period of zero gravity on germination. This work could form the basis to one day feed humans in space and on other planets.

  • Coppens International: Students studying our BSc (Hons) and FdSc in Aquaculture and Fisheries Management programmes are benefitting from a research partnership with Coppens International, a global specialist in developing and producing aquaculture feed. As part of the programme, students undertake controlled trials of a new feed, which replaces fishbased protein with one sourced from sustainable novel protein alternatives. The trial will establish a comparison of growth rates on C1 carp (Cyprinus carpio). Additional research projects conducted in collaboration with Coppens include one to assess the growth performance of C2 carp fed with two different varieties of Coppens feed, administered in a controlled trial. The students are also conducting growth trials of juvenile African Walking Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) and the hybrid, Heteroclarias. Another project is investigating the identification of fish odours and is focusing on Snakeheads (Channa bleheri) in collaboration with Dr Joanna Miest from the University of Greenwich.