// Latest Posts

Researching fermentation in cocoa

Prof David Salt recently visited the Cocoa Research Centre in Trinidad & Tobago. In this post he reflects on our cocoa project in Colombia, and the work we are developing with the CRC. Our Colombian cocoa project began because we were interested in understanding the connections between the way fermentation works in cocoa beans and …

Measuring metabolites across the food chain: An interview with Dr Tristan Dew

Dr Tristan Dew is an Assistant Professor in Molecular Phenomics and a member of the Future Food Beacon. His work explores how mass spectrometry-based technologies can be used to rapidly assess metabolism within plants, animals and humans. In this interview, Tristan talks to Dr Lexi Earl about his research career, reasons for joining UoN, and …

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 …

Collaborations with Embrapa to research Brazilian agricultural practices

The Future Food Beacon is developing a working partnership with Embrapa, Brazil. Embrapa, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply and is concerned with generating knowledge and technology for Brazilian agriculture. In late 2018 and early 2019, supported by the UoN International Collaboration Fund, six Future …

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 …

Using eating together to think: reflections on doing research at public mealtimes

This post is written by Marsha Smith. Is there something special that happens when we eat together in groups? This post looks at an emergent form of group eating initiatives and explores some ways of doing research with, and about, the customers and producers of these eating events. Community-based forms of group eating practices are …

A Creative Approach to Engaging with Male Eating Disorders: Animating the Patient-Doctor Encounter in Clinical Settings

This post is written by Dr Richard Vytniorgu, Impact Research Fellow, School of Cultures, Languages, and Area Studies. To animate something means to give shape to that which is hidden, inert, silenced. To be animated is to demonstrate movement rather than rigidity, a liveliness in place of absence. Together with the animation studio Woven Ink, …

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, …

Genomic characterisation of the University of Nottingham dairy herd

This post is written by Dr Sarah Blott, Associate Professor in Animal Breeding and Genetics, in the School of  Veterinary Medicine and Science.  Milk and dairy products are a significant source of nutrition in the human diet; the first evidence of dairy consumption dates back over 6,000 years, and today dairy farming is a global …

Understanding more about oil palm farmed by smallholders

This post is written by Dr Thomas D Alcock and Dr Christina Vimala Supramaniam During a recent trip to Malaysia, including visits to the University of Nottingham Malaysia campus, Dr Thomas D Alcock and Dr Lexi Earl stopped by some smallholder oil palm plantations to get a feel for production practices. This is what they …