New field station makes space for innovative crop science

A new facility to assist advances in crop science is taking shape in the Norfolk countryside.

The field experimental station at Church Farm, Bawburgh, will allow scientists at the John Innes Centre to carry out ground-breaking research in crop improvements.

Bringing together lab and field research in one location will further research in understanding how genes control plant growth in the field.

Hanging on the Infection Peg

By Jessica Fostvedt (Waitrose CTP Student)

Survival demands that all living things must adapt to their environment or perish. However, an alternative strategy is for an organism to alter the environment to suit its own needs.  For fungal plant pathogens, the surrounding plant tissue provides a generous home… and one that is just as prone to manipulation.  Some pathogens actively attack cells and disrupt plant defences, but others simply ‘wait’ for their environment to become more favourable, and they do this during a stage called pathogen quiescence.

Barriers to women in agriculture challenged during presentation at Scottish Parliament

Evidence of significant barriers to women’s careers in Scottish agriculture has been presented at the Scottish Parliament by social researchers from Newcastle University and the James Hutton Institute.

The presentation, sponsored by MSPs Emma Harper and Gail Ross, featured an introduction by co-chairs of the Women in Agriculture taskforce, Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing and Joyce Campbell (Armadale Farm), and highlighted recent taskforce activities and outcomes of research undertaken for the Scottish Government on the subject. 

AHDB commits £5m to fix fragmented farming innovation pipeline

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is committing £5m to fund Britain’s next generation of agricultural experts in an effort to overhaul the industry’s “fragmented” innovation and skills pipeline.

It will plough the funds into supporting PhD university students over the next five years, following its recent report which identified a UK productivity gap worth over £4bn in lost Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Climate change research centre to protect world’s most vulnerable communities

A new research centre that will support communities threatened by climate change was launched at the University of Reading by former Irish President and UN human rights high commissioner Mary Robinson.

The Reading Centre for Climate and Justice is dedicated to putting justice at the heart of understanding the problems caused by climate change, and finding solutions to protect those most vulnerable to them. It seeks to deploy expertise at the University to identify gaps in knowledge, and emerging areas, that would benefit from a justice-focused approach.

Workshop series brings together African researchers, businesses and policy maker

A series of workshops is bringing together African researchers, businesses and policy makers to explore how knowledge exchange could help provide safe, sustainable water.

Lancaster University staff delivered the first of five week-long Knowledge Exchange workshops, to initiate the start of the £7M RECIRCULATE project, supported by the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.

RECIRCULATE aims to build capacity within Africa to carry out and translate high quality research into the new products, processes and services needed to solve the continent’s water crisis.