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How do plant roots branch towards water?

Plant roots need to forage for water and nutrients in the soil. These key resources are not distributed equally through the soil so plants therefore have to send their roots towards the best available sources of water and nutrients. If plants couldn’t flexibly adapt to changing conditions in their environments, they would struggle to thrive …

The new agricultural bill: soils, sustainability and farming

It may have already left your news feed, but a few weeks ago a new agricultural bill was presented in parliament. We spoke to some of our local soil and plant scientists, Prof Sacha Mooney, President of the British Society of Soil Science, and Prof Malcolm Bennett, and Prof David Salt on what the new …

Doing science in the field: stories from our Colombian cocoa project

Dr Christopher Moore and Dr David Gopaulchan travelled to Colombia together in May 2019 to carry out scientific sampling of the cocoa fermentation process on different farms. David recently travelled back to Colombia for the second harvest, to conduct further sampling, in November and December 2019. We spoke to David and Chris about the experiences, …

The importance of zinc in cereal crops: An interview with Veronica Guwela

Veronica Guwela is a UoN-Rothamsted PhD student recipient. Their project is titled: ‘High zinc wheat for sub-Saharan Africa’ and they are supervised by Prof Julie King (UoN), Dr Malcolm Hawkesford (RRes), Prof Martin Broadley (UoN) and Prof Moses Maliro (LUANAR) . Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were you doing before? I decided …

The Future Food Beacon MakerSpace

We spoke to Principal Research Fellow Darren Wells, Dr Jonathan Atkinson, and Dr Michael Wilson about the new MakerSpace, located in the Plant Sciences building here on Sutton Bonington campus. Tell us about the MakerSpace… The Future Food Beacon MakerSpace is an innovation hub established to support experimental and outreach activities in Biosciences and elsewhere. …

Duckweed: plant for the future!

One of the wonderful things about science is the sense of exploration into the expanse of the unknown. Finding future food sources, particularly protein, outside of livestock, is becoming increasingly important, for both human and animal diets. It is easy, despite the myriad of possible research avenues, to become stuck down a single trajectory, chipping …

Working between the field and the lab: understanding barley

August 1st is Lammas, a day traditionally celebrating the first harvests of the season. Summer wheat, oats, rye, and barley grains are all harvested from now until October, and the first loaf of bread is baked with the new grains. How does the beginning of the harvest season affect our researchers and their work? Dr Guillermina …

AfriPlantSci 2019: Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Building African capacity to tackle African Plant Health Challenges in Africa

This post is written by Dr Silvia Busoms and Assoc Prof Levi Yant It’s an exhilarating time for outward-looking researchers who wish to engage with the rest of the world. It has never been easier to make links with like-minded workers anywhere to team up together to tackle real world problems. As a result, international research …

Meet the Beacon: Prof David Salt

Professor David E. Salt is the Director of the University of Nottingham’s multimillion pound Future Food Beacon of Excellence. Prof Salt left the UK after his PhD in 1990 to work as an academic in the US where he became a Full Professor at Purdue University in 2005, and where, from 2004 – 2007, he was the …

‘Reach and Teach Science in Africa’: Strengthening Research Capacity for Generating Future Foods

This post is written by Dr Ute Voβ and Dr Thomas Alcock. In April 2019, Nottingham Research Fellow Dr Ute Voß and Doctoral Prize Fellow Dr Thomas Alcock received funding through the Future Food Beacon Partnership Fund to travel to Benin, West Africa. In this article, they offer insights into their experiences teaching molecular biology …