// Archives

The growing power of the rhizotrons! – An interview with Dr Jonathan Atkinson

Dr Jonathan Atkinson is a Senior Research Fellow, Technologist in Phenomics, and co-founder of the Future Food Beacon’s Makerspace. He stars in our new video Future Food: an introduction to the Makerspace, which we highly recommend that you watch! In this blog, we ask why and how Dr Atkinson designed and built his largest creations …

Fieldwork in the Yucatan during the Covid-19 pandemic – An interview with Karla G. Hernandez-Aguilar

Karla G. Hernandez-Aguilar is a PhD candidate on the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project. Photograph above: colour diversity in a maize variety called Gallito (little rooster) harvested in the same milpa plot in Xoy community in Southern Yucatan – by Karla G. Hernandez-Aguilar When was your first research trip to the Yucatan and how did it go? My first …

The Baobab Genome Project: approaching the mysteries of diversification and death – by Levi Yant

With its unmistakeable shape synonymous with the continent, the baobab is an African icon. It is also important on a very practical level: its nutritious fruit, pulp and seeds have been eaten across Africa for ages. High in vitamin C and other nutrients, the use of baobab in the global diet is radically increasing, with …

Plant root breakthrough leads to Science paper – Bipin Pandey and Rahul Bhosale tell us how it happened!

Dr. Bipin Kumar Pandey (above) is a Research Fellow in the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham. He received a 12-month PhD+ award from the Future Food Beacon in April 2018. Dr. Rahul Bhosale is a Nottingham Research Fellow in Phenomics and Functional Genomics at the Future Food Beacon, University of Nottingham. He …

Bees and neonicotinoids – what does the science say? – by Prof. David E. Salt

Photo by Roberto Patti on Unsplash DEFRA has announced that, for the 2021 growing season, thiamethoxam will be allowed to treat sugar beet seeds, prior to planting. This is a temporary authorisation for 2021 only but may be extended for the 2022 & 2023 growing seasons. This has understandably caused controversy and elicited passionate reactions. …

Improving Brassica rapa for better nutrition – An interview with Dr Guillermina Mendiondo

Dr Guillermina Mendiondo is an Assistant Professor in Translational Crop Science at The University of Nottingham. She works on different plant species as part of her work on crop molecular genetics within the Future Food Beacon. The origins of the project In 2018, Dr Mendiondo travelled to South Africa and visited farmers in KwaZulu-Natal as …

Chasing auxin through the plant – international collaboration leads to Nature paper – by Anthony Bishopp

Photo (right) by Rita Astrovich on Unsplash Anthony Bishopp is a Royal Society University Research Fellow, Faculty of Science, University of Nottingham When Charles Darwin noticed that plants bend towards light, he performed a series of experiments showing that a mobile signal produced in the growing tip caused the plants to bend at the base. 160 years …

The real arsenate reductase stands up! – Is this the end of the HAC story?

Warning: this blog contains some hardcore plant science. Look away now if this is a bit much!  This blog celebrates the publication in the Journal of Experimental Botany of a new paper about arsenate reductase in plants. Dr. Sina Fischer of the Future Food Beacon is the first author on the study and performed much of the work, assisted by a number of co-authors. including Dr Paulina Flis who leads Prof. Salt’s Ionomics Facility. Prof. David E. …

Indigenous Farming in Mexico and Belize – An interview with Karla Hernandez-Aguilar

Karla G. Hernandez-Aguilar is a PhD student on the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project  Why did you decide to do a PhD? What were you doing before?   Before joining the University of Nottingham, I worked in Southern Belize for two and a half years as the Protected Areas Program Director at an NGO called Ya’axche Conservation Trust. I established working relationships with many indigenous …

Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) – by Prof. Matt Jones

Professor Matthew Jones heads up the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project. The project comprises 10 researchers and over 20 academic staff across 5 Schools at the University of Nottingham. PalaeoRAS is funded by the Future Food Beacon through its Innovation Challenge programme. The PalaeoRAS project and its aims PalaeoRAS seeks to understand how plants …