Elise Chalcraft

Workshop Producer and Manager / Aquaponics Assistant


Elise Chalcraft - Aquaponics Assistant Picture taken in Norway whilst working and sailing with InTheSameBoat (NGO) cleaning the Norwegian coast of marine pollution. Elise Chalcraft

 I have worked as an Aquaponics Assistant in MediaMatic's Greenhouse from April 2021 till September 2021 and I am now moving from the greenhouse upstairs into the office to work as the workshop manager and producer, transferring my organisational skills to producing wacky and wonderful workshops to be experienced at MediaMatic. 

I am a MSc graduate at Queen's University Belfast of Leadership for Sustainable Development. I have lived in the Netherlands for the past 4 years having completed my BSc in Sociology and Urban Studies at Erasmus University College, Rotterdam. 

I am fundamentally curious about unpacking social norms and habits to see where improvements and behaviours shifts can be made to be more sustainable holistically. Coming from a Liberal Arts & Science background, I use multiple perspectives and backgrounds to solve problems and offer interdisciplinary solutions.

My experience as an Aquaponics Assistant was incredible, filled with lots of learning, evolving, adapting and deciding. I grew my skills alongside the plants and 128 African catfish in technical, botanical, ecological, and organisational sectors. I am now part of the bar staff having been able to gain more experience working bar/hosting shifts and cooking for all employees during my cleaning shifts using homegrown aquaponics produce. I gave edible flower tours around the greenhouse on Friday's Open Tours and whenever there was a curious guest to MediaMatic. 


Playing the Twijfel Zaaien game with others - Reopening of Twijfel Zaaien/Casting Doubt 2021 In April 2021 was the reopening of the exhibition Twijfel Zaaien/Casting Doubt. 


Elise holding the start of a new miniponics system - During the Building Aquaponics Systems workshop


I managed stocks of current nutrients and supplies within the greenhouse, worked up plans for planting season of Twijfel Zaaien, helped find ethical and reliable suppliers for biological pest control, prepared and planned project proposals to a strict timeframe, gave presentations about current workprocesses to the team in a confident and precise manner, time management skills evolved in order to multitask on the multiple different projects in order to finish them on time and up to standard.

Botanical & Ecological:

I learnt a lot about a huge variety of edible plants and flowers, both inside and out of the greenhouse, including exotic plants like wasabi, karela, and tibetan poppies. I learnt better ways to propagate and plant seeds within rock-wool cubes and how to care for seedlings appropriately. I used airpots to promote better root development and felt bags to plant wasabi to ensure constant retention of water within the plant. I learnt alot about fish welfare and behaviour during my project on adapting the diet of the catfish to include waste streams within the greenhouse. I made numerous scales to assess fish wellbeing and happiness that can be used in future year. I learnt the proper and least stressful way to weigh a fish and how to maintain the system to ensure they are as happy as can be. 

My overall experience was incredible. Both working within the greenhouse and expanding my horticultural and ecologist knowledge but also within a motivated and highly diverse team from a plethora of backgrounds. 


Elise planting seeds in the Aquaponics - Spring gardening preparations 2021  In Spring 2021 the growth of new outdoorplants was supported by the warm temperatures of the Aquaponics. Our Aquaponics team worked on the preparation and care of the seedlings.

Related: view all 10

Images: view all 64