Dr Charles Whitfield

Dr Charles Whitfield
Senior specialist - crop protection
+44 (0) 1732 523729

Research interests

Charles undertakes research and development of products, tools, and methods to enable more efficient and environmentally sound crop protection. He is interested in transferring technology and methods from other sectors into agriculture, utilising a range of scientific fields such as semio-chemistry, insect behaviour, image analysis (fluorescence, hyper/multi spectroscopy), remote sensing (aerial and ground), automation and precision agricultural technology to develop novel methods of crop protection.

Charles develops and manages a range of projects bridging science and technology with industrial application. He works extremely well alongside commercial partners and has a proven understanding of applying for and winning grants such as Innovate UK and AHDB funding. Working in applied agri-/horticultural research for over ten years he has experience in experiment design, data management, statistical analysis, field trials, knowledge exchange (oral and written), and is a qualified project manager (PRINCE2).

Research projects

Precision Fruit Tree Dosing to Optimise Yield and Quality; Duration: 2019–2022; Partners: Hutchinsons, WorldWide Fruit, NP Seymour, The Acclaimed Software Company, Outfield, Plumford Farm; Funding: Innovate UK

Developing Prototype VOC Sensor-Based Products For Determining Soil Health On-Farm; Duration: 2019–2022; Partners: PES Technology, Hutchinsons, Small Robots Company, University of Greenwich, University of Essex; Funding: Innovate UK

Augmented Berry Vision - Real-time Augmented Display of Spectral Ripeness Cues in Berry Farms; Duration: 2020–2022; Partners: Opposable Games, Berry Gardens, University of West of England; Funding: Innovate UK

PhD: Developing a push pull strategy for the management of Drosophila suzukii; Duration: 2017–2021; Partners: University of Greenwich, Berry Gardens, CTP; Funding: CTP, BBSRC

PhD: Soft fruit detection and shape estimation using 3D information and machine learning; Duration: 2019–2022; Partners: University of Lincoln, Berry Gardens; University of Lincoln and Berry Gardens

PhD: Design and Accurate Control of a Low-Cost Soft Robotic Arm for Automated Strawberry Picking; Duration: 2020–2024; Partners: University of Lincoln, Berry Gardens, CTP; Funding: CTP

Recent publications

  • ATTRIDGE, J., CROSS, J.V., WHITFIELD, E.C. Tracer Composition. Patent application number GB1904451.0.
  • NOBLE, R., WALKER, A., WHITFIELD, C., HARRIS, A., DOBROVIN-PENNINGTON, A., FOUNTAIN, M.T. 2021. Minimising insecticides for control of spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) in soft fruit using bait sprays. Journal of Applied Entomology. In press.
  • WHITFIELD, E.C., ATTRIDGE, J., CROSS, J.V. 2019. A hand-held imaging fluorometer and attendant food-safe spray tracer for rapid quantification of spray deposits in the field. Proceedings of the 15th Workshop on Spray Application and Precision Technology in Fruit Growing: pp. 41-42
  • WHITFIELD, E.C., LOBOS, E., CORK, A., HALL, D.R. 2019. Comparison of different trap designs for capture of noctuid moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) with pheromone and floral odour attractants. Journal Economic Entomology.
  • GOWDA, M., KANJU, E., OTTI, G., TUMWEGAMIRE, S, ZACARAIAS, A., MBUGUA, E., WHITFIELD, E. C., BENESI, I., KAWUKI, R., MUNGA, T., MWATUNI, F., LEGG, J., MKAMILO, G. 2019. A method for generating virus-free cassava plants to combat viral disease epidemics in Africa. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, 105.

Full publication list on ResearchGate