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Sainsbury Laboratory

 

Gatsby Plant Science Education Programme (GPSEP)

The Gatsby Plant Science Education Programme (GPSEP) aims to make a demonstrable difference to the teaching and learning of plant science at all ages in the UK.

Working closely with schools, colleges and universities, the Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS) programme advocates for presence of relevant and inspiring contemporary plant science in the school curriculum and qualifications, and develops plant science teaching resources to support this.

The Higher Education side of the programme seeks to nurture bright students in post-16 education with an interest in bioscience to become the next generation of leading plant science researchers through the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School and online engagement.

GPSEP is funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation alongside several other plant science programmes including the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU); the Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich and a number of funded PhD projects and summer studentships for plant science undergraduates.

Meet the team

Dan Jenkins - Head of Programme
01223 334410
dmj25@cam.ac.uk 

Dan is Head of GPSEP, maintaining strategic oversight of both sides of the programme. With a degree in Botany, Dan’s career path has included working at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge; the Institute of Education, University College London and the former Science Learning Centre, London.

  • Bsc (Hons) Botany, Aberystwyth University
  • PGDip Science Communication, Birkbeck University of London
  • MA Science Education, University College London

     

Alex Jenkin - Project Manager (Schools)
01223 748454
aej34@cam.ac.uk

Alex manages the schools part of the programme, aiming to inspire teachers, school science technicians and the students they work with about plant science. She works closely with teachers and teacher trainers, identifying areas in the school curriculum that can be supported with plant science themed resources which are then distributed free of charge via the SAPS website. Alex is reviewing these resources to ensure that they continue to be relevant and engaging and is working to build a network of Ambassadors who will help disseminate them around the UK.

Before joining the team in May 2017, Alex worked as a Learning and Outreach Officer at Centre of the Cell where she developed and presented shows about cell biology and medical research to schools and families. Before this, she was Education Officer at Understanding Animal Research.

  • BA (Hons) Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
  • MSc Science Communication, Imperial College London

 

Jamie Biggs - Project Coordinator (Schools)
01223 748455

Jamie joined us in July 2018. He coordinates and delivers events for teachers and teacher trainers as well as overseeing our virtual presence through coordination of our database, social media and our SAPS website . Having trained and taught as a Primary School Teacher, he is aware of the need to inspire budding botanists from an early age with the use of plant science resources.

Jamie has previously worked in Medical Education at King’s College London and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust coordinating training events for medics.

  • BEd (Hons) Primary Education, University of Bedfordshire
  • MA Education Management, King’s College London

 

Dr Christopher Graham - Project Manager (Schools) [secondment]
cmg24@cam.ac.uk 

Chris is seconded part-time to the SAPS project to develop plant based learning and teaching resources. As Head of Biology at Hills Road Sixth Form, Cambridge, Chris brings many years experience in teaching, teacher training and resource development to the project. Chris is committed to supporting our development of 'plant proud' teachers, and his SAPS projects include resources to aid confidence in the subject. 

  • BA (hons) Biological Sciences, University of Oxford 
  • PGCE Secondary Science, University of Cambridge 
  • PhD Evolutionary insect neuroanatomy, University of Cambridge 

 

Dr Charlotte Carroll - Project Manager (Higher Education) [on temporary leave]
01223 764013
ceec3@cam.ac.uk [on temporary leave]

Charlotte joined the team in June 2017 to oversee the programme’s engagement of contemporary plant science research and opportunities with students in post-16 education. She works with academic advisors and consultants to develop, implement and evaluate the impact of the annual Gatsby Plant Science Summer School programme and its alumni, and aims to build upon engagement of 16-18 year olds through development of the IntoBiology website.

Before joining the team Charlotte was a Public Engagement Coordinator for the University of Cambridge where she worked to train, support and recognise researchers undertaking their own public engagement projects. Before that, she worked as a Widening Participation Officer and then Festival Coordinator at the University of Warwick.

  • BSc (Hons) Biology, University of Southampton
  • PhD Plant Cell Biology, University of Warwick
     

 

Claire Pennycuick - Project Manager (Higher Education)
01223 761289
cp536@cam.ac.uk 

Claire joined the team in 2014 as a Project Coordinator to run the programme’s engagement of contemporary plant science research and opportunities with students in post-16 education. In 2021 she became Project Manager (Higher Education) alongside Charlotte. Claire works with academic advisors and consultants to develop, implement and evaluate the impact of the annual Gatsby Plant Science Summer School programme and its alumni, and aims to build upon engagement of 16-18 year olds through redevelopment of the IntoBiology website

Claire was previously Director of a successful marketing and promotions company, before joining the world of science communication.

  • BSc (Hons) Recreation Management, Sheffield Hallam University 

     

 

Dr Russell Arnott - Project Manager (Higher Education)
rna25@cam.ac.uk

As the newest member of the team, Russell joined in June 2017 to continue our role of public and youth engagement in plant science. As well as assisting with the organisation and delivery of the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School programme, Russell aims to develop content to support A-Level and undergraduate students on their journey into the world of plant science.
With a background in oceanography and science teaching, Russell is a keen science communicator having performed at science and music festivals across the UK and Europe. He has also run his own science communication agency, organising events and training environmental scientists to communicate their research more effectively. 

•    MOcean (Hons) Oceanography, University of Southampton
•    PGCE Secondary Science (Physics), University of Sussex
•    PhD Phytoplankton Dynamics, University of Bath
 


 

Jon Brosnan - Project Coordinator (Higher Education) 
ap969@cam.ac.uk

Jon joined our team in March 2022. Jon coordinates the programme’s engagement of contemporary plant science research and opportunities with students in post-16 education. He plans and event manages the annual Gatsby Plant Science Summer School (GPSSS) for 80 of the UK’s highest achieving bioscience undergraduates.

Jon worked in the film industry prior to his move to Cambridge to work for the University.

  • BA (Hons) Art History


 

Emma Goode - Web Editor and Content Developer (Higher Education)  
ecg46@cam.ac.uk

Emma coordinated the development of our FutureLearn course 'Improving Food Production with Agricultural Technology and Plant Biotechnology', and now works part-time with GPSEP to create content for the new HE website 'Plant Science Futures' that is currently under development. 

Emma has a background as an editor in the publishing industry and now works as a Web Editor. 

  • BA (Hons) English Literature, University of Warwick 
  • MA Publishing, University College London