// Archives

The great duckweed hunt! Part one in a botanical tale of exploring natural variation around us

This post is written by Kellie Smith. Welcome to our new series, showcasing duckweed! We have written about duckweed before, but these posts showcase PhD candidate Kellie Smith’s fieldwork hunting duckweed around the UK. Kellie is an avid duckweed collector and researcher in Food and Agriculture at the University of Nottingham. She is passionate about …

The importance of food safety

Today is World Food Safety Day! The foods we eat need to be safe for us to consume, not only for human health but wider planetary health, economic prosperity and sustainable development. There are systemic interconnections between the health of people, animals, plants, the environment, and the economy. We all have a role to play …

Statistics in the GeoNutrition project – by Murray Lark, Christopher Chagumaira and Alice Milne

The intriguing message from our recent Nature paper (Gashu et al., 2021) is that the concentration of essential dietary micronutrients (like zinc and selenium) in locally-grown staple crops depends on where you look in the landscape. This was found in two African countries with contrasting cropping and food systems, but a shared common challenge of …

Micronutrients in cereals in Ethiopia and Malawi – the GeoNutrition team’s Nature paper

This week we are celebrating the publication of the GeoNutrition project team’s paper published in Nature: ‘The nutritional quality of cereals varies geospatially in Ethiopia and Malawi’. Here, we summarise some of the paper’s headline findings. We also provide links to several pieces that take different angles on the work done, the people involved and …

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. …